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Pope Francis delivers his Easter Urbi et Orbi address Pope Francis delivers his Easter Urbi et Orbi address  (Vatican Media)

Pope recalls 70th anniversary of first papal TV appearance

Pope Francis sends out his Easter greetings through modern means of communication, and recalls the 70th anniversary of the first papal appearance on television.

By Devin Watkins

We might take for granted the sight of the Pope’s face streamed live, but only 70 years have passed since the first time a Pope was visible to someone not in his immediate presence, usually in Rome.

Pope Francis noted that feat of modern technology at the end of his Urbi et Orbi address on Easter Sunday.

“I enjoy recalling that 70 years ago, exactly on Easter in 1949, a Pope spoke for the first time on television. Venerable Pius XII spoke to the viewers of French TV, underlining how the gazes of the Successor of Peter and those of the faithful could meet through a new means of communication.”

Easter greetings

Pope Francis continued the tradition in 2019, wishing a Happy Easter to all those listening to his voice on radio, or viewing his image on TV or the internet.

And he encouraged Christians everywhere “to use these tools that technology places at our disposition to proclaim the good news of the Risen Christ, and to communicate with one another and not only to contact each other.”

Pope Pius XII in first papal TV appearance (in French)
21 April 2019, 12:31