Since the day he was elected pope on March 13, 2013, Pope Francis has been doing his best to bridge the gap between the church and the people, between spirituality and social issues, and between different cultures and religions. And unlike many pontiffs who came before him, he has a very powerful tool at his fingertips to assist him in his holy mission – Twitter.
Pope Francis, who has more than 22 million followers on his multilingual Twitter @pontifex accounts, is far and away the most influential world leader on the social media network, according to a 2015 study from Twiplomacy.
He averages 9,929 retweets for every tweet he sends on his Spanish account – that’s more than eight times the reweets President Obama averages, although Obama boasts the most followers on Twitter, according to the Twiplomacy study by PR firm Burson-Marsteller. (Pope Francis is hot on his heels in that category, however, as the second most-followed world leader.)
Over the years, the pontiff has managed to squeeze many an inspiring message into 140-characters-or-less tweets, and we’ve gathered some of the most popular – and the most surprising – right here.
For starters, Pope Francis’ tweet in Filipino stating that, “The Philippines is proof of youth and vitality of the Church,” is the third most retweeted tweet by a world leader, with nearly 75,000 retweets.
On marriage and family life:
On following your dreams:
On animals and the environment:
On social injustices:
His tweets have gotten love from people of all faiths, races, ages and walks of life. And celebrities from Snooki to Chris Rock have expressed their admiration for the pontiff on Twitter.
Tweet on, Pope Francis. The Twitterverse is #blessed to have you in its life.