The Pope prays for peace on Twitter

Established under Pope Benedict XVI and assumed by Pope Francis in March of this year after his induction, @Pontifex has become a place where Pope Francis prays for and with the faithful.

In direct response to the crisis in Syria, however, @Pontifex has taken a somewhat different tack, responding quickly to a breaking news story and calling for followers to do the same.

After news of the use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians spread, Pope Francis launched a condemnation on Twitter in real time, upending the traditional Papal comfort zone.

Using #prayforpeace, the Pope issued a rallying call to his worldwide followers.

To date, the #prayforpeace has been used over 260,000 times — surpassing mentions of the Pope himself in the past week, and taking on a life of its own in many different languages.

Though the Pope rarely tweets more than once daily, he has recently posted as often as three times a day, with eight uses of #prayforpeace in just one week. The Pope’s response to the situation in Syria has sparked awareness among Catholics around the world and become part of a global vigil for peace.

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