Pope Francis Joins Instagram

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Pope Francis

Now with 1.4 million followers, the global Catholic leader set a record for the fastest growing account of all time.

Pope Francis is keeping up with the times.

The 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church made worldwide news on Saturday when he joined social networking app Instagram, gaining 325,000 followers (and counting) in a matter of two hours. He has now gained 1.4 million followers in under 12 hours, setting a record for the most followers gained in a single day and the fasting growing account of all time.  

In his first post on the photo-sharing application, His Holiness — who holds the username @Franciscus with "I want to walk with you along the way of God's mercy and tenderness" as his bio — shared an image of himself kneeling, bedecked in his white robe with the caption "Pray for me" in nine languages.

Instagram is the second social media channel that the globally renowned Catholic leader has joined. In 2013, Pope Francis took over both the Papacy from Pope Benedict XVI and his Twitter account (@Pontifex), which has 8.89 million followers.

He also shared the news of his most recent account on Twitter, informing his followers, "I am beginning a new journey, on Instagram, to walk with you along the path of mercy and the tenderness of God."

Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom welcomed the Pope to the social media app with a personal photo of the historic moment.

"Watching Pope Francis post his first photo to Instagram today was an incredible moment. @franciscus, welcome to the Instagram community! Your messages of humility, compassion and mercy will leave a lasting mark," he captioned the image, which was taken Saturday at the Vatican.