Pope issues first @pontifex tweet
Pope Benedict XVI has posted his first tweet just over a week after announcing his arrival to the social media platform.
His first contribution to the site through his @pontifex handle read: "By speaking with Jesus in prayer, listening to what he tells you in the Gospel and looking for him in those in need "
The pope’s tweet coincides with the festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was tweeted in English and mirrored in separate accounts in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish, Arabic, and French.
The main account, @pontifex, is in English and the other seven have a suffix at the end for the different language versions. The German version is @pontifex_de, and the Arabic version is @Pontifex_ar.
The English version has over 670,000 followers.
The pontiff pushed the button on his first tweet himself but in the future most of the tweets will be written by aides, and he will sign off on them. Two further tweets were posted this morning, the first asking his followers "How can we celebrate the Year of Faith better in our daily lives?" and "By speaking with Jesus in prayer, listening to what he tells you in the Gospel and looking for him in those in need"
He subsequently asked: "How can faith in Jesus be lived in a world without hope?" and answered with: "We can be certain that a believer is never alone. God is the solid rock upon which we build our lives and his love is always faithful"
The pope's Twitter page is designed in yellow and white - the colours of the Vatican, with a backdrop of the Vatican and his picture. It may change during different liturgical seasons of the year and when the pope is away from the Vatican on trips.
Pope Benedict is not new to the medium having sent his first tweet announcing a new Vatican news portal last year.
The Vatican, whose website has been taken down by hackers in the past, said it has taken precautions to make sure the pope's certified account is not hacked. Only one computer in the Vatican's Secretariat of State will be used for the tweets.
The pope's Twitter page is designed in yellow and white - the colours of the Vatican - and his picture over the backdrop of a St Peter's Square packed with pilgrims.
The page may change during different liturgical seasons of the year and when the pope is away from the Vatican on trips.