(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met briefly with the managers and players of the German “Borussia Mönchengladbach” soccer team on Wednesday, inviting them to be “athletes for peace”.
The Holy Father met with them ahead of his weekly General Audience.
He thanked the team for the “friendly relations” built up through the years between the team and the Vatican Employees’ Athletic Association. The teams sometimes face off on the field in Rome and in Mönchengladbach.
The Pope said the club “distinguishes itself by being a team ‘at the human level’, in a manner of speaking, and a team which promotes the family.”
Pope Francis said he enjoyed seeing “how families live in your Borussia Park and how many athletic and educative initiatives are held to promote young people, in particular the less fortunate,” he said.
Finally, the Pope invited those sportsmen present to “be athletes for good and for peace”.
“I entrust you, your families, and all your loved ones to the Lord. May He ever accompany you with His blessing.”
(Devin Sean Watkins)