Pope Francis, who beat out U.S. President Barack Obama as the most influential leader on Twitter, reached out to the people of Korea through social media.
The 77-year-old leader of the Roman Catholic Church posted eight messages in Korean since his departure from the Vatican City on Wednesday evening for Korea by Sunday.
In one post, he asks followers to pray for Korea. In another, he blesses the country, particularly the elderly and the youth.
The pontiff tweets in nine languages including English and Arabic to 12 million followers. The eight Korean-language messages appeared on the English account @Pontifex.
Here’s what the shepherd of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics worldwide said in Korean through Twitter:
“As I begin my trip, I ask you to join me in praying for Korea and for all of Asia.” (Posted Aug. 13 before his departure for Korea)
“May God bless Korea ― and in a special way, the elderly and the young people.” (Posted the morning of Aug. 14, shortly after his arrival in Korea)
“Saint John Paul II, pray for us and especially for our youth.” (Posted on the afternoon of Aug. 15)
“Mary, Queen of Heaven, help us transform the world according to God’s plan.” (Posted after his first public Mass in Daejeon on Aug. 15)
“Dear young people, Christ asks you to be wide awake and alert, to see the things in life that really matter.” (Posted in the afternoon of Aug. 15 before meeting youths from Asia)
“The martyrs teach us that wealth, prestige and honor have little importance: Christ is the only true treasure.” (Posted on Aug. 16 after the Mass to beatify 124 Korean martyrs)
“Let us pray that the Church be holier and more humble, loving God by serving the poor, the lonely and the sick.” (Posted on Aug. 17 after a meeting with Asian bishops)
“It is by God’s mercy that we are saved. May we never tire of spreading this joyful message to the world.” (Posted on Aug. 17 before a closing Mass for the sixth Asia Youth Day)
By Lee Sun-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)