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Who are these ‘techie’ popes?

You’ve seen pictures of Pope Francis reading from an iPad. You’ve viewed video clips of him pausing for selfies. Maybe you’re even one of his over 17.9 million followers on Twitter! It’s pretty obvious that this Santo Papa has a fondness for technology. But Pope Francis is not the only pontiff to have exhibited an interest in such innovations. Here are are a few more of these “techie” popes:

Also See: In Photos: A History of the Popemobile

Pope Leo XIII

Pope Leo XIII

The first-ever pope who was captured on film was Pope Leo XIII in 1896. Directed by Vittorio Calcina, the film features the Holy Pontiff in the Vatican Gardens. The novelty of the experience did not escape Pope Leo XIII, as he is seen experimentally waving his hands in the air—a motion that was actually a quick blessing being given by the Pope!

Pope Pius XI

Pope Pius XI

In 1922, papal carriages fell out of use, which ushered in a new era—the era of Popemobiles. The first Popemobile was a Bianchi Tipo 15 donated by the Association of Catholic Women of the Archdiocese of Milan.

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II

81-year-old Pope John Paul II was the first pontiff to write and send an email from a laptop on November 12, 2001.

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

Did you know that Pope Benedict XVI was the first Santo Papa to use social media? On December 12, 2012, the Vatican launched a Twitter account for him. The Holy Pontiff tweeted: Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.

Also Read: The Man Who Serves Two Popes

Through the years, our dear popes really valued the wonders and gifts of technology. Did you know that Pope Francis even uses Google Hangouts to stay in touch with students from all over the world? But the Lolo Kiko advises us to use technology mindfully. He said in his meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook, “It is not the technology that determines whether the communication is authentic or less, but the human heart and its ability to use the means at its disposal well.”


Text by Matteo Valsecchi and Stephanie Jesena- Novero.

More on Pope Francis and his advice on how to use technology the proper way in the June 2019 issue of My Pope Magazine.

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