Houston, Texas, Feb 5, 2017 / 08:00 am
As the Patriots and the Falcons gear up for Super Bowl LI, Pope Francis sent a message to both players and viewers, saying the game is an opportunity to show solidarity and build virtue.
"Great sporting events like today's Super Bowl are highly symbolic, showing that it is possible to build a culture of encounter and a world of peace," the Pope said in his message, published on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5.
"By participating in sports, we are able to go beyond our own self-interest and – in a healthy way – we learn to sacrifice, to grow in fidelity and respect the rules," he said, speaking in his native Spanish.
The pontiff voiced hope that this year's Super Bowl may be "a sign of peace, friendship and solidarity to the world."