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Pope sends first tweet from personal handle @Pontifex

Pope Benedict XVI hit 1 million followers before sending his first tweet Wednesday morning.

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Pope Benedict XVI, pictured during his weekly general audience on November 7, 2012 at St Peter's square at the Vatican, has begun tweeting from his new Twitter handle. (ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI sent his first tweet from his personal Twitter handle, @Pontifex, Wednesday morning. Watch out, Lady Gaga. 

"Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart," the Pope's inaugural tweet read.

He also tweeted the same message in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish, Arabic and French, NBC News reported.

Benedict had amassed one million followers before even lifting his finger to tweet from his personal account, which was introduced during a ceremony at the Vatican.

More from GlobalPost: @pontifex, Pope Benedict's new Twitter handle

Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications Monsignor Paul Tighe, speaking on Vatican Radio, called the event "an extraordinary moment," according to UPI

The first papal tweet was retweeted more than 2,000 times in less than two minutes — a rate that could make even Twitter's most popular user Lady Gaga jealous.  

Pope Benedict XVI may be harboring a Twitter addiction: he tweeted four more times after his first blast, and answered questions from users later in the day, the Associated Press reported.

Here, his latest tweets: 

The Pope is no Twitter newbie, however: In the past he's tweeted from Vatican's English-language Twitter account, @news_va_en. 

More from GlobalPost: First papal tweet, short and sweet, attracts 20,000 followers (VIDEO)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/culture-lifestyle/world-religion/121212/pope-first-tweet-personal-handle-pontifex