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Vatican

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Creators describe 'miracle' behind @Pontifex Latin Twitter account

2014-02-15

It's the become one of the greatest surprises. The Pope's Twitter account in Latin has surpassed all expectations. It was expected to draw some 5,000 followers. Instead, it has over 213,000.

FR. DANIEL GALLAGHER
Latin Scholar, Vatican Secretariat of State
"It's almost a miracle. We weren't sure why it had such great success. But, from the letters we've received, the messages and comments, it's clear that the public think that it's a very useful language today. Be it for an exchange of ideas or conversations, but more so for the fact that there's a great culture behind this language.”

Though it may sound rather ironic, a language that hasn't been spoken in centuries has become a prime way to use one of the most modern and popular communication tools today.

FR. DANIEL GALLAGHER
Latin Scholar, Vatican Secretariat of State
"It makes it possible to express yourself in a short, precise, and also fun way, not possible with other languages. What we usually have to say with 12 or 14 words, in Latin four words are enough. It's well known for it's capacity to shorten, and concisely express the most treasured and shear thoughts to others.”

The @Pontifex account in Latin has more followers than the accounts for Arabic, Polish or German. It's precisely this country that has shown the greatest interest in Latin.

FR. DANIEL GALLAGHER
Latin Scholar, Vatican Secretariat of State
"It's impossible to say precisely who and where all followers come. But many Germans have responded saying they like to follow the Holy Father in Latin. We know that learning Latin is still very widespread across Germany, to the extent that students can start understanding and following our account from the fourth or fifth grade.”

Over centuries, the Church used Latin to communicate, and spread its messages around the world. In modern times, it seems even today's society has learned to appreciate this classical language.


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