MANILA — Upon leaving the Philippines on Monday morning, Pope Francis on the afternoon the same day made a final request to both Filipinos and Sri Lankans via Twitter.
“Sa aking mga kaibigan sa Sri Lanka at Pilipinas: Naway pagpalain kayo ng Diyos. Sana´y patuloy niyo akong ipagdasal,” the Pope said on his official Twitter account, @Pontifex hours after his departure from the country.
He earlier tweeted the same sentence in English: “To my friends in Sri Lanka and the Philippines: May God bless you all! Please pray for me.”
Pope Francis began his six-day tour of Asia in Sri Lanka—where he was welcomed by elephants—before heading to the Philippines to personally console survivors of typhoon “Yolanda” in Tacloban, Leyte.
The Roman Catholic leader’s tweet currently got over 14, 000 retweets as of posting time. Several Filipino netizens also took time to tweet back.
“Thank you Papa Franciso for being such an inspiration to me and to the whole nation. Please do pray for us as we pray for you,” a certain Angelie (@angelidesu) said in reply.
A girl named Sharina (tbhjustchaerin) promised to pray for Pope as well and thanked him for his visit.
“We will (pray for you), Pope. Thank you so much for a very blessed visit. You’ve strengthen(ened) us. Muschisimas gracias! Maraming maraming salamat po,” she said.
Pope Francis has been known to tweet in various languages including Spanish, English, French, German, Arabic, Portugese, Polish, Latin, and just recently, Filipino.
He was earlier named the most influential Twitter user or “tweep” in the world, according to a Twiplomacy 2014, a study of how Twitter is being used by world leaders.
He currently has about 5.01 million followers on Twitter since his account was created in February 2012.