It’s been the longest drumroll ever for the Twittersphere, since the Vatican first announced in February that Pope Benedict XVI was to open his own Twitter account. Well, today he has issued his first tweet and he has already garnered more than 1m followers.
He chose 12 December to make his Twitter foray to mark today’s feast of the Madonna of Guadalupe.
The Pope pictured sending his first tweet today via his @Pontifex account. Image credit: The Pontifical Council for Social Communications
His first tweet read: "Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart."
At the time of writing, this tweet had been retweeted 24,905 times on the English version of the @Pontifex account.
The Pope then went on to send another tweet, posing the question: "How can we celebrate the Year of Faith better in our daily lives?"
He followed this tweet an hour later with another one: "By speaking with Jesus in prayer, listening to what he tells you in the Gospel and looking for him in those in need".
Vatican Radio said Pope Benedict XVI will be responding to a series of questions chosen from those sent to #askpontifex this afternoon.