He wrote from a tablet following his weekly general audience: “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.” 

He got a bit tweet-happy then, sending out another two encouraging followers to read the scriptures.

The Pope has 650,000 followers of his main English account, followed by 174,000 in Spanish, 96,000 in Italian, 25,000 in Portuguese, 19,000 in German, 18,000 in French, 10,000 in Polish and 7,000 in Arabic.

His first English message was retweeted 15,600 in the first 40 minutes.

The Pope’s followers have been invited by The Vatican to pose questions of the Pontiff, who’s keen to spread his word more widely, especially to younger people.

“The Pope’s presence on Twitter is a concrete expression of his conviction that the Church must be present in the digital arena,” the Vatican said in a statement.

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