- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

After setting up his Instagram account two weeks ago, Pope Francis has already corralled a flock of more than 2 million followers on the social media website.

The pope, whose English handle is “franciscus,” has already made 24 posts over the short span, including pictures of him taking selfies with awestruck millennials and a video of him blessing and putting his hands on a pregnant mother’s womb.

“Christ my hope is risen!” Pope Francis exclaims in one post that shows him hugging several people in a crowd.

The tech-savvy pontiff has utilized other social media platforms — most notably Twitter, where he has more than 27 million followers on his various multilingual accounts — to spread the Gospel’s message more than any other head of the Catholic Church.

He announced on Twitter last month that he was “beginning a new journey, on Instagram, to walk with you along the path of mercy and the tenderness of God.”

The account is managed by the Vatican Secretariat for Communications.

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