Pope Benedict XVI hit the one million Twitter follower mark on Wednesday as he sent his first tweet from his account.

In perhaps the most drawn out Twitter launch ever, the 85-year-old Benedict pushed the button on a tablet brought to him at the end of his general audience on Wednesday.

“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,” read his inaugural tweet. At around the same time the message was sent, the number of followers of Benedict’s (at)Pontifex account surpassed the one million mark on eight languages. — AP