MANILA, March 14, 2013—While the faithful gathered at St. Peter’s Square chant “Habemus Papam!” to welcome Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as the new head of the Roman Catholic Church, netizens around the globe join the celebration via Facebook and Twitter.
“Pope Francis” and “#HabemusPapam” topped the list of trending topics over Twitter in the Philippines while “Pope Francisco” made it to the top 10 trending topics worldwide, showing the world’s excitement over the news of the election of the new Supreme Pontiff.
Even the Pope’s official Twitter account, @Pontifex, was reactivated with the posting of “Habemus Papam Franciscum” right after Pope Francis’ first public appearance at the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. The Twitter account, which has over 1.8 million followers, was momentarily inactive after Pope Emeritus Benedict announced his resignation from the papacy last month.
On Facebook, photos on the white smoke that has risen from the Sistine Chapel’s chimney and videos of Pope Francis’ first public appearance were posted and shared several times.
Netizens posted their prayers for Pope Francis after the Holy Father humbly asked for prayers and blessings as he faces the challenges of leading the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
Jenny Manalang-Prado, a staff of the Archdiocese of Manila, posted her prayer over Facebook: “Dear Lord, please lead, guide, direct and protect Pope Francis that he may have all the courage, strong will, perseverance and a loving heart to face what lies ahead of him as head of the Catholic Church. Help him as he embraces the Church’s victory and defeat, flawlessness and imperfections. Let your will be done. Amen. VIVA IL PAPA!!”
Meanwhile, YouthPinoy, a lay group of young online missionaries who initiated a vigil for the Conclave, said that the “Prayers for the Pope” movement would continue even after the election of Pope Francis.
YouthPinoy’s “Prayers for the Pope: A vigil for the conclave” at the Arzobispado de Manila Chapel ran for two nights until the College of Cardinals got the numbers necessary to elect the next bishop of Rome.
Participants in the vigil include students from the University of Santo Tomas and Don Bosco Technical Institute of Mandaluyong City; members and employees of the Knights of Columbus; youth ministers from the Archdiocese of Manila and parishioners of San Agustin in Intramuros, among others. (YouthPinoy)