Pope Francis on Social Media


Jenna McCarthy '19, Contributing Writer

Pope Francis’s Instagram (@franciscus) has 3.7 million followers, and he is a verified member of the Instagram population of 600 million monthly active users as of December 2016. His bio reads, “I want to walk with you along the way of God’s mercy and tenderness.” Pope Francis’s posts spread the grace of God to his followers. Ever since I started following Pope Francis on Instagram, his inspiring photos and enriching captions makes me feel like the Pope is no longer a man who lives faraway in a mysterious place called Vatican City. His Instagram captions illustrate the importance of this Lenten season, and the need for mercy and forgiveness in our world today. Pope Francis’s constantly asks for our prayers and comes across as an extremely humble and down-to-earth person. He always visits the sick and elderly and stresses the importance of repentance. He also explains the need for silent reflection in order to listen to God and realize all of the things we have to be thankful for in our everyday life, including the gift of life itself.  In addition, Pope Francis tries to reach as many Christians as possible as all of his posts are translated into English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and German. Also, with the recent Instagram feature, it is possible to translate foreign languages into one’s native language; making Pope Francis’s Instagram account truly global.

Recently, Pope Francis gave a TED Talk about the importance of human interaction and compassion as we ask ourselves, “Why them and not me?” He stresses how we must forgive our brothers and sisters in order to leave the hatred in our hearts behind us. Equality and social inclusion helps generate love, which is the source of life and the essence of memory, courage, and creativity. Other humans are not just a number or statistic, they have a face with a purpose. In his TED Talk, Pope Francis includes the parable of the Good Samaritan, and how we need that sense of humanity today. He concludes with the fact that humans are precious individuals and are irreplaceable in the eyes of God. The duty of all human beings are to use their light to overcome darkness with Hope.

Pope Francis’s presence on social media gives us new opportunities to learn from what he has to share with the world.