(USA TODAY) - The papal @pontifex Twitter account came back to life Wednesday afternoon with one tweet sent out shortly after Pope Francis, formerly known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, recited the Lord's Prayer and a Hail Mary at the Vatican.
"HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM" - We have Pope Francis - had been retweeted almost 65,000 times late Wednesday. The account has almost 1.8 million followers.
The former Pope Benedict XVI sent 39 tweets from that account starting in mid-December, but the account went dormant March 1 after Benedict's announcement that he would leave the post.
In the meantime Wednesday, Pope Francis was trending on Twitter, as was the curiosity-stirring hashtag - or search term - "#ReplaceMovieTitlesWithPope." Dozens of parody pope Twitter accounts sprang up too, some of them using profanity or slang to describe themselves.
Tweets about the pope abounded, from major news organizations to famous people, including President Obama ("I look forward to working with His Holiness to advance peace, security, and dignity ...") and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio ("Truly inspiring that our new pope has taken the name of Francis, saint who lived a life of humility and charity").
Michael Street, a New York-based social media strategist, says he sees Francis' move to Twitter as an "outstanding" one. The pontiff can use the social media site to "spread the message he needs to spread."
Street points out that a "Jesus Christ" page on Facebook has 606,000 followers, uses colorful visuals and sends out regular, inspirational messages to followers.
"It would be really great if the pope pushed out messages on the Word," Street says.
"I would like to see him be active on the Twitter account," Street adds. "I would like to see him take it seriously and create a strategy around how to leverage the message of the Vatican.
"On Sundays, they could use the Twitter account to offer a Twitter sermon or words of encouragement for the week. He could even use his own hashtag to spread the message."