As massive crowds of pro-life advocates gathered for the March for Life in Washington, D.C., Pope Francis on Thursday tweeted a short message of support.

"Every Life is a Gift," he said Jan. 22, using the hashtag "#marchforlife." The message went out to over 5.3 million Twitter followers on his English-language account "Pontifex."

To his 7.8 million Spanish-language Twitter followers, he sent the same message: "Cada Vida es un Don."

As of noon Eastern Time Thursday, his English-language tweet had over 12,000 retweets and 17,000 favorites. His Spanish-language tweet had over 3,700 retweets and 3,800 favorites.

Last year the Pope also tweeted a message in English and Spanish.

"I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable," he said in January 2014.

The pro-life march in Washington, D.C. typically draws hundreds of thousands of attendees of all religious backgrounds, though Catholic participants are numerous. This year's event marks the 42nd anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which mandated legal abortion nationwide.

Pope Francis made a surprise visit via popemobile to an April 2013 pro-life march in Rome.

He is not the first pontiff to tweet to the March for Life. Pope Benedict XVI sent a message of support for U.S. pro-life advocates on Twitter in January 2013.