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#PrayforPeace: A Tweet-Cyclical

September 16th, 2013by Sean Ater

If you are not on Twitter, you may be unaware of how intense the Pope has been using that social network to preach the Gospel under the handle @Pontifex.  Over time the Pope is becoming savvier with Twitter (or at least he is allowing his Twitter interns to do so). I think I noticed the first Papal hashtag this past World youth day when he tagged his tweets with #Rio2013 and #JMJ.

A hashtag (#) placed before a word or phrase on Twitter allows that particular “tweet” to be searched. When many people use the same hashtag it begins to trend on Twitter. Any Twitter user can click on a hashtag like #Rio2013 and see the worldwide conversation happening with tweets tagged with #Rio2013. It is a great way to raise awareness about issues and create community around a particular idea or cause.

The latest hashtag to be used by Pope Francis is #prayforpeace in response to the conflict in Syria. The Pope has stormed Twitter with an urgent and unabashed called for prayer and for peace. Put together, these tweets give us a snapshot of a Christian understanding of war, peace, and prayer. See for yourself:


Here are 6 takeaways from these tweets for peace:

  1. Peace is not just a Christian command; it is part of the natural law. All people of goodwill should seek peace.
  2. It takes courage to seek peace. War and violence is often a cowardly response.
  3. The act of seeking peace is a witness to the world; it shows all of us that human life has dignity and worth.
  4. How do we reach peace? Negotiation and true dialogue.
  5. Peace begins in the heart of individuals.
  6. The biggest takeaway from this “tweet-cyclical” – Prayer changes things.


Here is a sample of other #prayforpeace tweets:





Sean Ater

Sean Ater is the Director of the Office of the New Evangelization for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He is married with 3 children and a parishioner at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Milford