Is this the first papal selfie?
Pope Francis joins young Italian pilgrims this week at St. Peter's Basilica for a photo making waves on social media.
August 30th, 2013
12:37 PM ET

Is this the first papal selfie?

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

(CNN) - In another precedent-shattering moment for Pope Francis, the bishop of Rome, the Vicar of Christ, successor of St. Peter and the head of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide has taken what may be the first papal selfie.

The pontiff posed for the photo with young Italian pilgrims Wednesday at St. Peter's Basilica.

The image of Francis mugging for a cell phone photo with the Italian teens charged through social media when the papal newspaper L'Osservatore Romano released the photo Thursday.

The group of 500 young people was visiting the Vatican from the Catholic diocese of Piacenza-Bobbio in Italy and had a private audience with the pope.

According to Vatican Radio, the pope told the young crowd he wanted to meet with them "for selfish reasons ... because you have in your heart a promise of hope."

"You are bearers of hope. You, in fact, live in the present, but are looking at the future. You are the protagonists of the future, artisans of the future,” the pope told the pilgrims.

“Make the future with beauty, with goodness and truth," he said.  "Have courage. Go forward. Make noise.”

Before the selfie shot around the world, the teens presented the pope with the gift of a wooden-framed illustration of Jesus wearing a crown of thorns.

Pope Francis receives a gift from Italian teenagers.

Italian journalist Fabio M. Ragona got his hands on the selfie and posted it to his Twitter account.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (502 Responses)
  1. Lionly Lamb


    August 31, 2013 at 3:43 am |
  2. Lionly Lamb

    In the measures one's wits are ever made... Straightly the newness of the darkened moon shines little within the abode... Strange as it becomes the darkness of the moon's glow enamors the bedding left empty and ajar from the passerby's once used... Ashamed and disgusted the abode maker leaves a sign upon the city limit welcoming post... "Vacancies are made but beware of the shade"... The abode maker leaves and a shallow sigh is heard as the meanderer of his ways are never made ever clearer then just as a sign upon the post upon the moonlit glows of the darkened lit light...

    August 31, 2013 at 3:24 am |
  3. Lionly Lamb


    August 31, 2013 at 2:48 am |
  4. Apple Bush

    If you can understand it, it has nothing to do with you.

    August 31, 2013 at 2:35 am |
  5. Apple Bush

    She held her glass the bloody end sticking up so she could enjoy the stains and cocktail napkins. Ever since she could remember she saved and hid her collection of cocktail umbrellas, toothpicks, plastic swords and balsa –wood pins. There was something about drinking that warmed her spirits, and the artifacts reminded her of less hellish times. Her girlfriend Hannah told her it was an obsessive compulsive disorder or hoarding. That was true. She was gross man.

    August 31, 2013 at 2:33 am |
  6. Apple Bush

    The grave digs a while, deep enough for you and your flat screen and a few other gadgets. The worshippers believe if you are buried with your valuables you will get to set up a “cloud” in heaven and you can access your music from any of your devices or computers.

    The grave leans on his shovel and thinks for a moment.

    Being older and more knowledgeable, the dirt guru decided to just fill in the hole and quit for the day. The sun burned bright and the pebbles in the grave’s body stung.

    He found some shade and quietly hoped no one would try to bury themselves.

    August 31, 2013 at 2:26 am |
    • Lionly Lamb


      August 31, 2013 at 7:08 am |
  7. Apple Bush

    I am now esoteric in my feelings towards believers that that are agnostic.

    August 31, 2013 at 2:25 am |
  8. Apple Bush

    You are at a German “sparkle party”. You are wearing your party pants. You are ready to dancy dance. It is a hard-core German sparkle party and you are wearing your rubber boots. The music is pulsating and it feels good to dance. You notice a familiar face standing at the bar. You dance over to her as fancy as you please in your polished rubber boots. You bend low to smell her perfume and say hello. It is your father. Where is your god now?

    August 31, 2013 at 2:20 am |
  9. Frank

    All hail Satan, the only supernatural friend we can trust.

    August 31, 2013 at 2:20 am |
  10. wikipoops.com

    First you had the controversy surrounding wikileaks. Now the shoot is wide open. http://www.wikipoops.com Mounds of info.

    August 31, 2013 at 2:15 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Your husband takes you to the company Christmas party. You have long been jealous of his very attractive co-worker Genevieve, and your jealous imagination suspects there is a spark between them. You dress to the nines and look great. The moment comes to say hello to her. She is beautiful, charming and smells intoxicating. You break a heal just as you reach to shake her hand. You spill your drink on both Genevieve and your husband. They look at each other and giggle, holding the gaze a bit too long. Where is your god now?

      August 31, 2013 at 2:23 am |
  11. Lionly Lamb


    August 31, 2013 at 2:14 am |
  12. CS

    The Central Scrutinizer is listening.

    August 31, 2013 at 1:59 am |
    • Lionly Lamb Chops

      I am listening...

      August 31, 2013 at 2:10 am |
    • CS

      There can be NO Lionly Lamb Chops, Lioly Lambs or anything with Lamb. Next question.

      August 31, 2013 at 2:17 am |
      • Lionly Lamb

        I am not making the questioning... The question is esoteric...

        August 31, 2013 at 3:09 am |
  13. Lionly Lamb Chops

    Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee is joined by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson as he talks to the media in Olympia, Wash. about the federal government's announcement that it will not sue to stop Washington and Colorado from taxing and regulating recreational marijuana for adults, on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013. Last fall, voters made both states the first in the country to legalize the sale of marijuana to adults over 21 at state-licensed stores. The states are creating rules for the system, with sales expected to begin early next year

    August 31, 2013 at 1:55 am |
    • Lionly Lamb Chops

      Courtesy http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Durkan-Wash-medical-pot-system-untenable-4771750.php

      August 31, 2013 at 1:58 am |
      • Lionly Lamb Chops

        Washington and Colorado last fall became the first states in the country to legalize the possession of marijuana by adults over 21. The votes also called for systems of state-licensed pot growers, processors and retail stores — prompting much hand-wringing about whether the federal government would sue to block the schemes from taking effect, on the grounds they conflicted with the federal ban on marijuana.

        But Thursday, the Justice Department gave states the green light to license and tax pot sales — as long as the states ensure that certain federal priorities, such as keeping marijuana away from kids and the black market, aren't jeopardized.

        August 31, 2013 at 2:06 am |
  14. wikipoops.com

    Pope, show us your hand bikini! Mirror shot.

    August 31, 2013 at 1:48 am |
  15. Apple Bush

    I will be impressed when his selfie reveals the truth in the mirror: Brazilian?

    August 31, 2013 at 1:45 am |
    • wikipoops.com

      Piles of info on this at the new wiki site: http://www.wikileaks.com

      August 31, 2013 at 1:46 am |
  16. Meh

    What is next... the Pope Twerking? Oh look, he is hip and relevant... NOT

    August 31, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • Apple Bush

      You are a teenager taking swimming lessons with your aunt. You don’t know where the changing rooms are and your aunt points you in the wrong direction. You end up in the birthday party room. It is empty so you change there. You come out for your lesson and discover that the glass you were surrounded by is one way. Everyone on the outside could see everything you were doing on the inside. Where is your God now?

      August 31, 2013 at 2:19 am |
  17. roger

    He doesn't even know what he's doing, he's too old to realize that he's about to become CNN news.

    August 31, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • tuffy luvvy

      He knows what he's doing. Usually it's not in public and he's naked.

      August 31, 2013 at 2:01 am |
  18. iRex

    Dear Eric Marrapodi,

    To be a "selfie" you need to be holding the camera while you take a picture of yourself. The Pope was clearly not holding the camera.

    Next time try looking up the term when you are making a report on it.

    August 31, 2013 at 12:32 am |
  19. hharri

    shucks, where's kelly? sharing her skills on defrauding websites with more athies?

    lol observer. u horses rear end! lol

    August 31, 2013 at 12:08 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.