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Pope evangelises by mobile phone

 Since January of this year, TIM cellphone subscribers in Italy have been just a click away from reading a brief daily inspirational message by Pope John Paul but as of today the papal SMS is also available in English in Ireland. Today, marks the first time that this service has been approved for launch outside of Italy. The service in Ireland can be subscribed to by sending POPE ON as a text message to 53141. This will result in the Pope's daily thoughts being delivered at 12 noon to the subscriber on a daily basis. The "short message service" costs Italian users about 15 euro cents a day. Young people, who have traditionally shown great love for John Paul II, also seem to be attracted in great numbers to his brief daily missives. In Ireland, the SMS with Pope John Paul's 'thought of the day,' which are taken from his homilies, messages and other writings, is offered through all Irish cell phone operators. The papal messages, which originate in the Vatican, at the moment are different each day in both languages. However, it is expected that in the future, which includes plans to transmit the SMS in Portuguese throughout Brazil, the same message will appear daily. The service is provided by Acotel, an Italian wireless application service provider and multimedia service integrator that is headquartered in Rome. Journalists who are TIM subscribers in Italy with WAP cell phones can also access the daily bulletin of the Holy See Press Office. In time they will also be able to receive the Vatican Information Service and access the Vatican web site. Source: VIS