(Vatican City) Pope Francis’ official Twitter account on Friday caused hilarity and misunderstanding among French-speaking users of the social network, calling on the faithful to practice “jaculatory”, short and intense prayers.
“If you don’t have a lot of time to pray, a wise spiritual practice can help, called ejaculatory, very short prayers that we can repeat often during the day to stay ‘connected’ with the Lord, “said in French the tweet published by the account @Pontifex_fr which displays 1.8 million subscribers.
Jaculatories — from the Latin “jaculor” meaning to dart, to throw an arrow — are short, fervent prayers, according to the Le Robert dictionary.
The English language speaks of “aspirations”.
“The ejaculatories, it gives average in French language, I do not hide it from you”, reacted on Twitter a user identified under the name of Renaud Denis.
Some Internet users suspected a hacking of the Pontifex account while others believed they saw a bad translation.
Asked by AFP, a Vatican source indicates that the pope’s Twitter account is managed by the Dicastery (equivalent to a ministry for the Holy See) for communication.
“The French is a simple translation” of the original Italian tweet, the source said.
In October 2022, during a Sunday prayer for the Angelus, Francis had already mentioned these forms of meditation, in Italian.
The official French translation evoked “a scholarly spiritual practice, which we have somewhat forgotten today, which our elders, especially grandmothers, know well: the one called ejaculatory”.
“The name is a bit outdated, but the substance is good,” the text added.