Itching to know how Pope Francis jazzes up his #OOTD? The wait is over, friends.
Francis made his Instagram debut on Saturday, posting his first two photos under the newly-minted handle, @Franciscus.
He started things out with his signature line, “Pray for me.” It was the same phrase he used to introduce himself on Twitter after his election in 2013.
Francis’ foray onto the popular photo sharing site was reportedly timed to coincide with the three year anniversary of his inauguration as spiritual head of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
The Instagram account is part of the Vatican’s efforts to reach out to Catholics around the world, particularly the younger generation. In a message for the church’s World Communications Day, Francis called the Internet a “gift of God” that can help the human family come closer together.
“Access to digital networks entails a responsibility for our neighbour whom we do not see but who is nonetheless real and has a dignity which must be respected,” Francis said in the message. “The internet can be used wisely to build a society which is healthy and open to sharing.”
The Vatican has already established a presence on Instagram under the handle @newsva, which has close to 80,000 followers and posts photos of Francis’ daily activities and interactions with his flock.
In February, the Vatican posted an image of Francis meeting with Instagram’s CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom. Systrom reportedly gave the pope a curated book of 10 Instagram images to prove that images can “unite people across borders, cultures and generations.”
The pope hasn’t yet created an official account on Facebook. Vatican officials are reportedly worried that it would be harder to monitor abusive comments on that network.
However, Pope Francis is already a force to be reckoned with on Twitter, with accounts that tweet out messages in nine different languages. He has nearly 9 million followers on his English account and more than 11 million on his Spanish account.
So far, the pope’s Twitter feed has been heavy on text. Only three of his more than 700 tweets on his English account are of images or videos.
Will his Instagram account simply be a first-person version of @newsva? Will we see more of his trademark selfies? Will the Virgin Mary forever be his #WCW?
We can’t wait to find out!