@Pontifex, Pope Benedict's Twitter account, attracted over a million and a half followers on its first day of existence on December 11.
Pope Benedict responded during the course of the day to three questions posed by members of the public from three different continents. The first was: "How can we celebrate the Year of Faith better in our daily lives?". The Holy Father's answer was "By speaking with Jesus in prayer, listening to what he tells you in the Gospel and looking for him in those in need". The Pope was seen using what appears to be an I-pad during his general audience with the public.
Shortly afterwards a second question was added: "How can faith in Jesus be lived in a world without hope?". "We can be certain that a believer is never alone. God is the solid rock upon which we build our lives and his love is always faithful", responded the pontiff.
The final tweet, posted around 6 p.m., was: "Offer everything you do to the Lord, ask his help in all the circumstances of daily life and remember that he is always beside you", in response to: "Any suggestions on how to be more prayerful when we are so busy with the demands of work, families and the world?"
The tweets came while a synod of bishops from the American continents met in Rome, December 9-12.
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.