Nothing screamed “pop culture icon” more than Pope Francis’ February 2014 cover of Rolling Stone magazine, and his popularity has only grown since then.
Just shy of his two-year anniversary as pope, the pontiff has already traveled to some of the most difficult regions of the world, helped broker peace deals and engaged the church in discussions on highly debated topics.
But even the modest and humble Pope Francis cannot escape the clutches of pop culture stardom. From visits with celebrities, to flashy magazine covers, to selfies with fans, the pope has become a celebrity of highest order — whether he likes it or not.
Here are some of the highlights of Pope Francis, pop culture icon:
The Ara Yevi samba school performs with a float showcasing Pope Francis, their homage to the Argentine-born pontiff during carnival celebrations in Gualeguaychu, Argentina, early Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
A dancer from the Ara Yevi samba school performs wearing white wings during a carnival parade of dancers and a float decorated with a statue of Pope Francis and a peace dove, as their tribute to the Argentine-born pontiff in Gualeguaychu, Argentina, early Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
A copy of Rolling Stone magazine is read on January 29, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Pope Francis is taking his place alongside the icons of American popular culture by appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, which hits newsstands on January 31, 2014. (Michael THURSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
In this June 12, 2013 file photo provided by the Vatican paper L’Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis receives a leather jacket from Harley Davidson Motor Company senior vice-president Mark Hans-Richer, at the Vatican. A 1,585cc Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide, donated to Pope Francis last year and signed by him on its tank, will be sold at auction in Paris to help raise funds for a soup kitchen and hostel for the homeless in Rome. (AP Photo/L’Osservatore Romano, File)
A man walks past the ‘Super Pope Francis’ graffiti in a street of L’Aquila five years after the earthquake on March 22, 2014 in L’Aquila, Italy. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY – JANUARY 29: A man takes a picture with his smartphone of a graffiti featuring a ‘superhero’ version of Pope Francis appears in Borgo Pio, next to St. Peter’s Square on January 29, 2014 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
A carnival float depicting a poor pope Francis right, and a rich cardinal prior to the traditional carnival parade in Duesseldorf, western Germany, on Monday, March 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
FILE – In this file photo Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 released Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 by Miss Deborah Arcelli and taken on a mobile phone by her son Riccardo, second from left, Pope Francis has his picture taken inside St. Peter’s Basilica with youths from the Italian Diocese of Piacenza and Bobbio who came to Rome for a pilgrimage, at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Riccardo Aguiari, File)
Pope Francis greets Angelina Jolie, at the Vatican, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. The actress, director and U.N. special envoy met briefly with Pope Francis Thursday in the Apostolic Palace after screening her film “Unbroken” to some Vatican officials and ambassadors. (AP Photo/L’Osservatore Romano, Pool)
A woman shows the cover of the Italian edition of Vanity Fair magazine, dedicated to Pope Francis, whom they elected “Man of the Year” for 2013, on sale in her newspaper kiosk in downtown Rome, Wednesday, July 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Michele Barbero)