Archbishop Timothy Dolan light St. Patrick's first virtual candle on an iPad Thursday. (June 29, 2011)
Archbishop Timothy Dolan used the latest technology on Thursday to perform an age-old ritual -- he lit a "virtual" candle with an iPad at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and now Catholics worldwide can do the same.
Dolan first lit the six-foot candle standing in the Baptistery next to the relic of St. Patrick, and invited Catholics worldwide to symbolically light prayer candles of their own online.
He then took to an iPad to submit the first virtual prayer through the cathedral's revamped website.
Other users can now log on to the "Light a Candle" page at saintpatrickscathedral.org and submit a text-based prayer, the cathedral announced.
The burning candle at the cathedral will represent the virtual prayer candles lit through the cathedral's website.
"While St. Patrick's Cathedral welcomes more than five million in-person visitors each year, now the faithful won't have to actually visit to light a candle," the Archdiocese of New York said in a statement.
A spokeswoman said the Diocese has been looking to integrate more technology in their goal to "spread the gospel."
The virtual candle was unveiled days after the Pope sent out his first tweet on an iPad.