His Holiness Pope Francis joins Instagram  

By Itumeleng Morule

Yesterday, on his third anniversary, His Holiness Pope Francis has joined Instagram.

Pope Francis launched the account @Franciscus to share his messages of love, tenderness and mercy with Instagram's global community of over 400 million people https://www.instagram.com/franciscus/

His Holiness shared an image of a private moment of prayer , and welcomed the Instagram community to pray for him in nine languages. This first image from the account allows the Instagram community from all corners of the world to to connect with Pope Francis, and join him in prayer.

Instagram CEO and Co-Founder Kevin Systrom was present at the Vatican today, and captured his own image of this historic moment https://www.instagram.com/p/BDIhEh9gBIb/?taken-by=kevin . On the Pope's new account Systrom commented: "Images transcend language and bring us all closer together. Pope Francis joins a global Instagram community who share a common passion for creativity and expression — his messages of humility and compassion will leave a lasting mark."

The launch follows a meeting between the Pope and Instagram CEO and Co-Founder Kevin Systrom at the Apostolic Palace in February, captured here , where they discussed the power of images to unite people across borders, cultures and generations. At the meeting, Systrom presented His Holiness Pope Francis with a hand curated book containing ten powerful Instagram images from around the world. From photography demonstrating the plight of migrants in the Middle East and the effects of climate change in the arctic to the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, the gift illustrated the power of images to unite people around global moments and issues.

Please find images from @Franciscus and @Kevin below, and follow @newsva for more Instagrams from the official Vatican News account.