If you’ve ever wondered what Pope Francis would look like dropping a beat, today’s your lucky day. (And even if you haven’t, this will still make you smile.)
A photo of the pope taken during his just-finished visit to the Central African Republic has gone viral.
It was shot Sunday by Gianluigi Guercia for Agence France-Presse at a camp for people displaced by the ongoing violence in the Central African Republic. But even with that heavy context — Francis is the first pope to visit an active conflict zone — that didn’t stop some from seeing in the image the pope’s inner rap star.
The result is #PopeBars, 140-character lyrics trending on Twitter that pay homage to the man whom some (mostly me) call The Tweetable Pope. (For the non-musical, “bars” refer to specific numbers of beats.)
Here are some of the highlights:
— peter manseau (@petermanseau) November 30, 2015
— jonathan frandzone (@NotAllBhas) November 30, 2015
— Serpent Socialite (@walrusmaster) November 30, 2015
— Joseph Flores (@atlas_thepoet) November 30, 2015
— omAri KuntA (@kobywale) November 30, 2015
— Cedric Chambers (@ChambersFineArt) November 30, 2015
It’s nothing new that Twitter users love this pope, who now has about 25 million followers among his nine language accounts – including Arabic and Latin – but the social media platform showed itself to be fully on board the Francis bandwagon, too.
The social-media network recently featured the pope, particularly his September visit to the United States, in an ad campaign aimed at highlighting Moments, its news-aggregating feature:
Finally, while it’s not the hip-hop the Internet apparently demands, Pope Francis did drop an album this month.
According to a review from the Associated Press, “‘Wake Up!’ mixes excerpts from the pope’s speeches, homilies, and prayers with Christian hymns that have been reworked by modern composers to include dollops of everything from Gregorian chant to rock guitar.”
It was released on iTunes Nov. 13 and includes 11 tracks in Spanish, Italian, English, and Portuguese that deal with the pope’s hallmark issues, such as the environment, poverty, youth, and faith.
How is it?
“At times ‘Wake Up!’ feels like a 1980s middle-of-the-road rock album interrupted by soft-spoken spiritual musings,” the AP continues. “But while it’s not always a heavenly mashup, it’s a heartfelt offering that should burnish Francis’ image as the people’s pope.”
Just like #PopeBars.