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Pope hits 1 million followers as he sends first tweet

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 12, 2012 at 7:46 a.m.

— Pope Benedict XVI hit the 1 million Twitter follower mark Wednesday as he sent his first tweet from his new account, blessing his online fans and urging them to listen to Christ.

The 85-year-old Benedict pushed the button on a tablet taken to him at the end of his general audience after the equivalent of a papal drum roll by an announcer who intoned: “And now the pope will tweet!”

“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,” the inaugural tweet read.

About the same time the message was sent, the number of followers of Benedict’s @Pontifex account surpassed the 1 million mark with all eight languages of the handle combined, adding some 11,000 followers in the last two hours alone.

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