A picture’s worth a thousand prayers

By Caroline Hroncich

Screenshot of the Vatican Instagram account showing Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY – If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many prayers can be inspired by a picture? Officials at News.va are asking themselves just that question with the promotion of the Vatican’s Instagram account.

Instagram is a popular application used mainly for smart-phones and allows users to upload, edit and post photos. Users also can include captions and commentary on the bottom of the edited photos. The Vatican’s Instagram account, NEWSVA, first posted March 6 with an image of Pope Benedict’s last public audience, which was held Feb. 27, the day before his retirement. Since then, the account has been posting on a fairly regular basis.

The Instagram account was started by José-Miguel Chavarría Múgica, a web producer for the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, who says, “The world is full of images that remind us of the grace of God in our lives; situations, persons, statues, signs, little things we come across every day. Smartphones are the perfect tool to catch these instants of grace in a picture and Instagram is a great and easy tool to share them.”

Inspired by the these instances of grace, Chavarria says followers of the News.va Instagram account can expect to see “inspiring scenes that recall the presence of God in our lives: Sometimes we will find objects, or (signs) used as metaphors, or persons sharing with us the joy of being Christians.”

After a trial run of several months, the Vatican Instagram is set to become one of News.va’s main platforms for social media communication. You can follow the Vatican’s Instagram by downloading the application to your smart-phone and linking to instagram.com/newsva

Screenshot of the Vatican Instagram account showing the inside of St. Peter’s Basilica

Editor’s note: Caroline Hroncich is a student at Villanova University and she is interning at Catholic News Service’s Rome bureau for the semester.

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