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Pope Francis has encouraged people to show as much care and attention towards their Bible as if it were their mobile phone.
Addressing pilgrims amid a downpour in St Peter's Square on Sunday, the pontiff also said daily bible reading could help deal with temptation.
The 80 year old was quoted by Reuters as asking: "What would happen if we treated the bible like we do our mobile phones?"
He went on to say: "If we turned around to retrieve it when we forgot it? If we carried it with us always, even a small pocket version? If we read God's messages in the bible like we read messages on the mobile phone?"
The pope, who is regularly spotted posing for selfies with smartphone wielding pilgrims, has 23 million followers on his English and Spanish Twitter pages.
Last year, he stressed the importance of using the internet, texting and social media wisely, saying: "It is not technology which determines whether or not communication is authentic, but rather the human heart and our capacity to use wisely the means at our disposal."
Pope Francis' appearance in St Peter's Square marked his final public appearance before he and other senior Catholics start their annual week-long Lenten retreat.
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