In this file photo Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, the day of his election. Picture: Gregorio Borgia

Vatican City -

Pope Francis on Thursday marked the first anniversary of his election by tweeting the message “Please pray for me” to his 12 million followers.

The tweet from the (at)Pontifex account, which echoed the pontiff's appeal in his first Angelus prayer last year, was the only official acknowledgement from the Vatican of the anniversary, which Francis was spending on a spiritual retreat south of Rome. - Sapa-AFP