Pope Francis Adds Instagram to Social Media Toolbox for Catholic Outreach

The world’s 1.2 billion Catholics have a new way to interact with Pope Francis.  The Vatican thinks Instagram is an ideal place to evangelize for those who prefer a more visual medium, and the pope agrees. The account @Franciscus (Latin for ‘Francis’) made  its first post recently, a picture of the pope accompanied by the text “Pray for me.”

“Instagram will help recount the papacy through images, to enable all those who wish to accompany and know more about Pope Francis ‘ pontificate to encounter his gestures of tenderness and mercy,” Msgr. Dario E. Viganò, prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications, said in a statement, The New York Times recently reported.

As is the case with the 79-year- old pope’s Twitter page, which has been live since 2012, his Instagram feed will be managed by the Vatican’s social media department. The account’s posts can be read in nine different languages. “In this way we can show those aspects of closeness and inclusion that Pope Francis lives every day.” Mr. Viganò added.