Pope Francis smiles as he leads a special audience with families at the St Peter Square in Vatican October 26, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi (VATICAN - Tags: RELIGION)
Pope Francis' fan base on online social networking and microblogging service Twitter has reached 10 million.
On Sunday, Pope Francis, the 266th spiritual leader of the Catholic church, posted a message of Twitter, thanking his followers for the milestone.
Dear Followers I understand there are now over 10 million of you! I thank you with all my heart and ask you to continue praying for me
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) October 27, 2013
Vatican explained the 10 million mark was reached after adding up all the followers' stats of his @pontifex handles, which based from a quick search on Twitter, yields at least 10 in various languages, including:
Chers Follower, j'ai appris que vous êtes plus de 10 millions ! Je vous remercie de tout cœur vous demandant de continuer à prier pour moi
— Pape François (@Pontifex_fr) October 27, 2013
المتابعين الأحباء، لقد عَلِمت أن عددكم الآن قد تخطى الـ 10 مليون مُتابع! إني أشكركم من كل القلب وأطلب منكم الاستمرار في الصلاة من أجلي.
— البابا فرنسيس (@Pontifex_ar) October 27, 2013
Liebe Follower, wie ich sehe, seid ihr jetzt mehr als 10 Millionen! Ich danke euch herzlich und bitte euch, weiter für mich zu beten.
— Papst Franziskus (@Pontifex_de) October 27, 2013
Queridos Seguidores, soube que já sois mais de 10 milhões! Agradeço-vos do fundo do coração e peço que continueis a rezar por mim.
— Papa Francisco (@Pontifex_pt) October 27, 2013
@pontifex in Spanish was the most read handle at four million followers. Second was @pontifex in English with 3.1 million, then @pontifex in Italian, 1.4 million followers.
The Roman Catholic church's first non-European pope in 1,300 years, Pope Francis has managed to triple the @pontifex's number of followers on Twitter since rising to the position in March 2013 as successor to Benedict XVI.
Benedict XVI started the papal Twitter feed in December 2012. His first tweet was, "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."
At the time of his abdication, Benedict XVI left the handle with 3 million followers.
Vatican has learned to keep up with technological advancements if only to be able to reach out to the world's 1.2 billion Catholics and spread the faith.
Apart from Twitter, Pope Francis is also on Instagram, joining the photo-sharing network early October 2013. In just three weeks, the handle has had 9,000 followers.