John Paul II Facebook Page Draws 31,000 Fans

Videos Offered in Various Languages

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 22, 2011 ( In less than a week, a Facebook page created for Pope John Paul II on the occasion of his upcoming beatification has already attracted almost 31,000 admirers.

The fans of the Facebook page, which was created by Vatican Radio and the Vatican Television Center with the agreement of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, are growing in number every minute.

In just a few days, the videos published on the page as well as on a new YouTube channel have been watched 50,000 times; some have been accessed 113,000 times.

There have been more than 2 million visits to the Web page for access to its news.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican Television Center as well as of Vatican Radio, said the Vatican is «very pleased with the way it’s going.»

«With this initiative,» he added, «we have responded to all those who requested the use of the social networks to prepare the beatification,» which will take place on May 1.

Father Lombardi reported that this week videos will be offered with the Pope’s voice in various languages during his trips around the world and in the Vatican.

There are some 40 videos offered thus far. In addition, 25 video clips have been made to present significant and particular moments of the pontificate’s trips.

Father Lombardi noted that at present, John Paul II’s page on Facebook is the first to appear when one looks for his name with a search engine, «and this in itself is already an element of gratification.»

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