'Our Christian Life Begins with the 'Sign of Water,'' Pope Reminds Swimmers

Pope Reminds ‘Sette Colli’ Competition That Without Water, Life Does Not Exist

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‘Our Christian life begins with the sign of water, with Baptism.’
Pope Francis gave this reminder to participants in the 54th “Sette Colli” Swimming Trophy competition in Rome, June 23-25, 2017, when he received them in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace at noon on Saturday, June 24, 2017.
Recognizing their familiarity with water, the Argentine Pontiff, remembered the words of St. Francis of Assisi, after whom he chose his name as Pope: ‘Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water, which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.’
Their challenge to themselves, in competing and living in contact with water, Pope Francis noted, can also be a contribution to a different culture of water.
«Water is life, without water life does not exist.»
«Talking about life means talking about God, origin and wellspring of life,» he said, underscoring, «our Christian life begins with the sign of water, with Baptism.»
The water in which they swim, dive, play, and compete, the Pope noted, requires several forms of attention: «the value of the body, which must be cared for and not idolized; the need for interiority and the search for meaning in what you do; the strength and courage to resist fatigue; the clear vision of which port to look for in life and how to reach it; and the value of authenticity, which means transparency, clarity, inner cleanliness.»
In contact with water, he observed, swimmers learn to be repelled by anything that is «polluting,» in sport and in life.
Pope Francis concluded, thanking the managers and athletes for their visit, wishing them the best, and imparting upon them his blessing.
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full Text: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-words-to-sette-colli-swimming-trophy
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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': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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