Roman Catholic Pope Francis is in South Korea in conjunction with his first papal visit to Asia, and he participated in Asian Youth Day in the Daejeon Diocese Friday. During the intimate gathering, a teen asked whether he could take a selfie with Pope Francis -- and he was not the first person to request such a papal photograph.
Pope Francis is known for his frugality, most recently choosing to drive around in a Kia sedan rather than a bulletproof vehicle, and his humility could be what’s driving this selfie trend. One memorable selfie starring Pope Francis appeared on Twitter last August, when a group of teenagers took a photo of the pope during a conference at the Italian Diocese of Piacenza:
— Fabio M. Ragona (@FabioMRagona) August 29, 2013
Pope Francis selfies became increasingly popular during his addresses since then, as he would spend time with the large crowds that gathered to hear and see him. Outside his public appearances, Pope Francis has called up a victim of rape in Argentina and has shrugged off many aspects of the papal office.
— Edward Pentin (@edwardpentin) March 19, 2014
Saturday, Pope Francis beatified 124 Korean martyrs, Catholics killed by the Joseon Dynasty, in front of a crowd of 800,000. During the celebration of Mass, Pope Francis blessed several families who lost members in April’s Sewol ferry sinking, which killed 300. Pope Francis also has called for peace between North Korea and South Korea during his trip.
A video of Pope Francis’ meeting during Asian Youth Day can be viewed below.