Pope: 'In World Thirsty for Peace, Let Us Allow Olympic Games to Inspire Us'

While Greeting Portuguese-Speaking Pilgrims During General Audience, Remembers Upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro

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During his weekly General Audience this morning in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that the Summer Olympics begins this weekend.
While greeting the Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, Francis offered an affectionate greeting to the Brazilian people, particularly in the city of Rio de Janeiro, hosting athletes and fans from around the world.
“In a world that is thirsty for peace, tolerance and reconciliation,”  Pope Francis said, “I hope that the spirit of the Olympic Games can inspire everyone, participants and spectators, to fight the good fight and finish the race together.”
Francis expressed his hope that participants’ objective is not only achieving a prize nor medal, “but something much more valuable,” rather “the achievement of a civilization where solidarity reigns, and is founded on the recognition that we are all members of one human family, regardless of differences in culture, skin color or religion.”
The Argentine Pontiff also expressed his hope that Brazilians, “with their characteristic joy and hospitality,” organize these Olympics to also be an “opportunity to overcome the difficult times,” “commit to teamwork” and work toward “a future full of hope and joy.”
“God bless you all!” Pope Francis said.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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