Hashtag no filter. Pope Francis officially joined Instagram on Saturday, March 19, with a photo post seen round the world.
The religious leader, 79, shared an image of himself kneeling in prayer with his head bowed and hands clasped as his first foray into the social-media platform.
“Pray for me,” he wrote in several different languages to caption the photo. “Rezad por mí. Pregate per me. صلوا من أجلي. Priez pour moi. Módlcie się za mnie. Rezem por mim. Betet für mich. Orate pro me.”
The leader of the Catholic Church is already on Twitter under the handle @Pontifex, and has more than 8 million followers.
On Instagram, His Holiness already has more than 728,000 followers, and his first post amassed 72,300 likes within three hours.
Just three weeks ago, the pope met with Instagram cofounder and CEO Kevin Systrom at the Vatican, a meeting that no doubt influenced his decision to hop on the photo-centric platform.
“Today I had the honor of meeting Pope Francis,” Systrom wrote at the time. “We spoke about the power of images to unite people across different cultures and languages. It was by far one of the most memorable experiences of my life!”
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