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@Franciscus
on Instagram

· The Pope will post his first photo on the Feast of St Joseph ·

Pope Francis is now on Instagram. With the name @Franciscus, the Pontiff will post on Saturday, 19 March, his first photograph on the popular image-sharing social network. The account will open around noon, following the episcopal ordination Mass in St Peter's. This is one of many initiatives which utilizes simple and direct language in order to demonstrate the Pope's closeness. The Holy Father is also on Twitter and has more than 25 million followers in nine languages.

The 19th of March is a special day because three years ago the Bishop of Rome celebrated the first Mass of his pontificate. The date is also special for the Holy Father because it is the feast of the St Joseph. Pope Francis has a special devotion to Mary's husband and in fact – as he has recounted many times – he keeps a little statue of him on his desk and entrusts him with doubts and difficult decisions.

Like other Instagram accounts, @Franciscus will include individual photographs, photo albums and short 15-second videos. The photos will sometimes have brief captions of no more than 150 characters.

L’Osservatore Romano Photo Service has chosen the photographs to “highlight aspects of the Pope's closeness and inclusion which he lives every day”, explained Msgr Dario Edoardo Viganò, Prefect of the Secretariat for Communications. The editorial staff of the dicastery will manage the account. Msgr Viganò also noted that the Instagram account coincides with the Year of Mercy in order to demonstrate the tenderness of Pope Francis. “Thus the Jubilee”, he said, “enters in social media in a practical and natural way”.

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