By RUTH GRAHAM
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Thom Masat / Unsplash, Grant Whitty/Unsplash, Thomas Quaritsch/Unsplash, and Peter Paul Rubens/Wikipedia.
This past weekend, Pope Francis called the mother of Jesus the “first ‘influencer.’ ” It was a comparison that struck many as surprising for several reasons, not least because Mary was a Jewish Galilean peasant born in the first century BCE who was not that active on Instagram.
With her “yes”, Mary became the most influential woman in history. Without social networks, she became the first “influencer”: the “influencer” of God. #Panama2019
The reference to Jesus’ mother as an “influencer” was drawn from Francis’ Saturday address to attendees of World Youth Day, an international festival that some call the “Catholic Woodstock.” This year’s festival in Panama attracted an estimated 600,000 young people, many of whom camped out overnight in order to attend an early Mass on Sunday.