'Pray For Me': Pope Francis Joins Instagram

His message appears in nine different languages.

20/03/2016 12:21 AM AEDT | Updated 20/03/2016 12:54 AM AEDT

Welcome to Instagram, Pope Francis!

The pontiff made his debut on the picture sharing social network on Saturday.

He shared this image of himself deep in prayer, captioned with the phrase "pray for me" in nine different languages.

Within an hour, it had garnered more than 25,000 likes -- and his @Franciscus account had gained 178,000 followers. That number is set to soar.

Pope Francis also has regular posts in English on his @Pontifex Twitter account, which has 8.8 million followers. In total, his Twitter accounts in nine languages have 25 million fans.

The 79-year-old told his Twitter followers about his foray into the Facebook-owned image sharing network an hour before making the post:

Instagram founder Kevin Systrom was alongside Pope Francis at the Vatican's Casa Santa Marta when he made Saturday's historic post.

The moment was also marked via Instagram's official account:

Systrom said on his personal account that watching the Pope posting his first photograph to the imaging service was "an incredible moment." "Your messages of humility, compassion and mercy will leave a lasting mark."

While it's exciting to think of Pope Francis sat hunched over his cell phone 'gramming snaps from his daily life, The New York Times reports that he doesn't compose his own Twitter posts -- and likely won't be doing so on Instagram.

Instead, the Vatican's social media department will take care of business on his behalf.

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