February 18, 2012
Installed Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York and Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, former archbishop of Baltimore, among the 22 new members to the College of Cardinals.

March 23-29, 2012
Apostolic Journey to Mexico and Cuba.

April 2, 2012
Makes a $100,000 donation to assist the people of Syria suffering due to violence. The donation was made through the Pontifical Council Cor Unum for the charitable activities of the local Church in Syria.

May 11, 2012
Issues a condemnation of ongoing violence in Syria.

June 2, 2012
Greets more than 80,000 people in Milan at the seventh World Meeting of Families.

June 15, 2012
Receives in audience United Nations’ General Assembly President Nassir Abdulazis al-Nasser. Both leaders talk about the role of the U. N. in conflict resolution particularly in the Middle East and Africa.

September 14, 2012
Releases his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Medio Oriente on the Church in the Middle East: Communion and Witness.

September 14-16, 2012.
Apostolic journey to Lebanon to present his apostolic exhortation on the church’s concerns in the Middle East. Meets with Christian and Muslim leaders.

October 7, 2012
Inaugurates the Thirteenth Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization and proclaims St John of Avila and St. Hildegard of Bingen as Doctors of the Universal Church.

October 11, 2012
Declares a Year of Faith with his Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei. (Door of Faith) starting on October 11 and ending November 24, 2013, the Year of Faith is meant to strengthen the faith of Catholics and draw the world to faith by their example.

October 21, 2012

Presides canonization of seven saints including two Americans: Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint, and Blessed Mother Marianne Cope, who spent 30 years of her life ministering to the sick on the Hawaiian island of Molokai.
November 11, 2012
Issues Apostolic Letter Motu Propio on the Service of Charity.

November 21, 2012
Publishes “The Infancy of Jesus” completing his “Jesus of Nazareth” trilogy. The book was translated into 20 languages including English, French, Spanish and Polish.

December 12, 2012
Sends his first message worldwide on Twitter on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

December 16, 2012
After reciting the Angelus, the Pope prays for the 26 victims murdered at an elementary school in Newton, Connecticut. Extended his message of grief over the tragedy and called the faithful to renew their prayers for peace.

December 17, 2012
Receives in audience the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.


January 22, 2013
Receives in audience the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyên Phu Trong. This marks the first time the Pope and a Secretary General of the Vietnamese Communist Party have met.

February 11, 2013
Announces his resignation effective February 28, 2013.

March 23, 2013
Pope Francis travels to Castel Gandolfo to meet with his predecessor, pope emeritus Benedict XVI, a meeting without precedent in the Catholic Church.