Holy Week and Easter see huge online engagement

The Vatican’s online Holy Week and Easter events reached millions of people around the world.

New viewers, followers and fans inspired by Pope Francis’ words and gestures were among those taking part.

“We have been struck by the many emails we have received, comments and posts on our social media from people, even agnostics and nonbelievers, who say they have been moved by the words and gestures of the Holy Father during this very difficult period,” a Vatican spokesman says.

Huge spikes in online visitors, views, follows and comments on numerous platforms show “many people, not just the Catholic faithful, were able to follow and ‘encounter’ the Holy Father and, through him, the Word of God,” he continues.

Vatican media outlets say they tried to ensure their Holy Week and Easter events reflected the “creativity of love that the pope asks of us in order to overcome the isolation caused by the pandemic.”

Their Vatican News site offers multimedia services in over 30 languages.

The news site visitor numbers and page views quadrupled from the same liturgical period last year.

Nearly 5.5 million users registered more than 14.5 million views on the vaticannews.va website between April 5 and April 13 this year.

During Holy Week last year, the website recorded 1.5 million users and 3.5 million page views.

Although all major papal Masses, liturgies and services have been available online for some time, this was the first year the Vatican offered all major Holy Week and Easter events.

Six events were broadcast and distributed free-of-charge. Funding from the Knights of Columbus was paid to television outlets and networks around the world so users could watch the events at no cost.


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