Pope gives text blessing

24 Jul 2003

Text messages from John Paul II are now available to Irish mobile phone users. Users in need of spiritual sustenance will now just be a click away from reading a daily message sent by the Pontiff.

Irish mobile phone users can subscribe to the service by sending POPE ON as a text message to 53141. This will result in the Pope’s “thought for the day” being delivered each day to the subscriber. The message is a prayer, passage from the bible or details from the lives of saints.

An extract from yesterday’s message reads: “The world needs a sign of hope from Christian families. May they be able to open their doors.”

The short message service, provided by the Vatican Information Service, will cost Irish users about 20c per day and is offered through all Irish mobile phone operators. The service is provided by Acotel, an Italian wireless application service provider and multimedia service integrator that is headquartered in Rome.

The service was launched in Italy in January 2003 and has proved “popular especially among young people”, according to a spokesman Fr Martin Clarke.

Fr Clarke was unable to predict the number of mobile phone owners who would subscribe to the service in Ireland.

By Lisa Deeney