Pope Francis is on Instagram: The Pontiff launches next step of his digital journey

His first image was captioned with 'pray for me'

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The Independent Online

Anyone looking for some spiritual guidance can now turn to their Instagram feed after Pope Francis began the first step of his “new journey” by launching his account. 

The Pontiff continued his digital journey on Saturday by sharing a picture of himself kneeling down and praying with the caption ‘pray for me’ written in nine languages.

In a tweet announcing his arrival, Francis explained that his account is part of “a new journey, on Instagram, to walk with you along the path of mercy and the tenderness of God”. 


Francis had amassed over 100,000 followers within 45 minutes of sharing the picture. 

Instagram founder Kevin Systrom was on hand to watch the first photo (which sadly was not a selfie) and shared his own image of meeting him.

“Watching Pope Francis post his first photo to Instagram today was an incredible moment," he wrote. "@franciscus, welcome to the Instagram community! Your messages of humility, compassion and mercy will leave a lasting mark.” 

 Francis has established himself as a more progressive leader of the Catholic Church and has been praised for his efforts to bridge the distance between the Pope and those who follow him. 

The Vatican said in a statement that the Instagram account would help the Pontiff communicate with followers by “recounting the papacy through images”.