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© L'Osservatore Romano

© L'Osservatore Romano

God–and the Successor of Peter–Hold a Special Place in Their Hearts for the Disabled

‘May this Olympic Flame be a sign of joy and hope in the Lord’

For the disabled, God–and the Successor of Peter–have a special place in their hearts.

Pope Francis expressed this before today’s General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, when greeting the sick and disabled in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, giving the Special Olympics organization a special greeting on its 50th anniversary.

To the “Deaf Catholic Youth Initiative of the Americas” group, the Pope prayed for the spiritual outcome of their pilgrimage to Rome.

“The Lord, the Holy Father expressed, reserves a special place in His heart for whoever has a disability, and so does the Successor of Peter.”

During the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope welcomed a delegation from the Special Olympics organization. “The world of sport offers a particular opportunity for people to grow in mutual understanding and friendship.”

“I pray,” he continued, “that this Olympic Flame may be a sign of joy and hope in the Lord who bestows the gifts of unity and peace on His children.”

Upon “all who support the aims of the Special Olympics,” Pope Francis gave his blessing.

Here is the Vatican-provided English translation of the Pope’s greeting:

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I extend a special welcome to the delegation from the “Special Olympics” organization on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation. The world of sport offers a particular opportunity for people to grow in mutual understanding and friendship, and I pray that this Olympic Flame may be a sign of joy and hope in the Lord who bestows the gifts unity and peace on his children. Upon all who support the aims of the Special Olympics, I willingly invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace.

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a 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 four languages). She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, EWTN and Salt & Light. For 'The Other Francis': https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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