New pope emojis will mark Francis’ visit to Ireland

emojiPopeIrelandTwitter Twitter

Twitter users will have access to special emojis commemorating Pope Francis' visit to the Ireland later this month, the Irish Daily Mail reported Thursday.

The emoji, which can be accessed by use of the hashtags #popeinireland, #pápainÉirinn, #WMOF2018 and #festivaloffamilies on Twitter, will feature an image of Pope Francis in front of the Irish flag. Another will feature the pope in front of Ireland's Knock Shrine.

The emojis were created to mark the pope's visit to the island on August 25-26, when he will attend the World Meeting of Families.

Similar emojis were created during Pope Francis' visit to the United States in 2015. Twitter has also launched customs images for events such as the World Cup, the Eurovision Song Contest, and the Olympics.

Twitter will also curate a list of recommended accounts to follow during the World Meeting of Families and the papal visit.

Officials from the World Meeting of Families told the Irish Daily Mail they were "very happy" about Twitter creating the emoji, and that it was "exciting."

"Social media didn't exist when Pope John Paul visited, so this is a new era in technology for such trips."

Benedict XVI was the first pope to have his own presence on Twitter. He joined the social media platform in December 2012, about three months before he stepped down from the papacy. His handle, @pontifex, was passed on to Pope Francis after he was elected.

Pope Francis has since been an active Twitter user, using the social network to weigh in on world events, and offering prayers and guidance to the Church. The pope now maintains a Twitter account in nine languages - Latin, English, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Arabic, French, and Polish.

Pope Francis will be in Ireland for about a day and a half, and will celebrate Mass at Dublin's Phoenix Park on August 26. This is the first papal visit to the country since Pope St. John Paul II visited Ireland in 1979. Twitter and Facebook would not exist until several decades after that visit.

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