Pope Tells Disabled Athletes They Give 'Message of Encouragement'

Reminds Them God the Father Looks at Them With Confidence

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

Pope Francis on Saturday told a group of disabled athletes that their disabilities are in fact a «message of encouragement» and an invitation to commit ourselves to do good together, surmounting the barriers we find around us, including those within ourselves.

The Pope said this in an audience with members of the Italian Paralympic Committee who gathered with their families in Paul VI hall on Saturday.

The encounter was part of the “Believe To Be Alive” event that took place this weekend, dedicated to Paralympic sport.

The Holy Father, himself an enthusiastic sports fan, lauded the experiences of the athletes, saying they carry victory within themselves, «the goals reached with so much effort, also with the many difficulties you had to face.»

Reiterating a message he’s given on other occasions, the Bishop of Rome spoke of sports as something that promotes relationships among those who come from different cultures and environments.

Sport «helps us to live by accepting differences, to make of these a precious occasion of mutual enrichment and discovery. Above all, sport becomes a precious occasion to recognize one another as brothers and sisters on the way, to foster the culture of inclusion and to reject the disposable culture,» he said.

«Your witness, dear athletes, is a great sign of hope,» Francis told them. «It is proof of the fact that in every person there are potentialities that at times they do not imagine, and which can be developed with confidence and solidarity. 

«God the Father is the first to know this! God knows your hearts perfectly: He knows everything. He is the first to know this! He knows us better than anyone else, and He looks at us with confidence, He loves us as we are, but He makes us grow in keeping with what we can become. Thus, in your effort for sport without barriers, for a world without excluded persons, you are never alone! God Our Father is with you!»

On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-disabled-athletes

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

Kathleen Naab

United States

Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation