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Pope Francis Blesses Ice Skaters and Their Work

Warns Against Competition, Encourages Respect and Service

Pope Francis has blessed ice skaters and their work…

He did so today when receiving a delegation of the International Skating Union, Thursday June 13, 2019, in the Vatican.

In his remarks, Francis acknowledged the aim of the union is not only to promote ice skating worldwide, but above all to allow more and more people to experience the beauty of this sport.

With this in mind, he underscored, “All sports are in fact a cause and an expression of joy: “the joy of exercising, of being together, of being alive and rejoicing in the gifts the Creator gives us each day.”

Recognizing that the sport can be rather competitive, the Argentine Pope recommended they remember that the values of respect, courage, altruism, balance and self-control learned in sport are a precious preparation for success in running the race of life.

“Sport, in a word,” he said, “is always meant to be at the service of humanity.”

Pope Francis concluded, offering his prayerful good wishes to them and their families, together with all the members of the International Skating Union.

“May God bless you and your work! And I bless you, each one of you, with God’s blessing. Amen,” he said.

Here is the Vatican-provided full English text of the Pope’s remarks:

***

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to welcome the members of the Council of the International Skating Union, and I thank the President for his kind words of greeting in your name.

The aim of your Union is not only to promote ice skating worldwide, but above all to allow more and more people to experience the beauty of this sport. All sports are in fact a cause and an expression of joy: “the joy of exercising, of being together, of being alive and rejoicing in the gifts the Creator gives us each day” (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit, 227). And this is true in a particular way for those who skate. Skating offers an exhilarating experience of life and freedom of movement, together with a training in discipline, team work and the pursuit of personal excellence.

Traditionally, skating has also been an inclusive sport, erasing social barriers and open to people of every age. I would encourage your efforts to ensure that the joy of skating will also mark even highly competitive events. As you strive to introduce more and more young people to the sport, I trust that your guidance will help them, through athletics, to mature as productive members of the larger community. The values of respect, courage, altruism, balance and self-control learned in sport are a precious preparation for success in running the race of life. Sport, in a word, is always meant to be at the service of humanity.

With these sentiments, I offer my prayerful good wishes to you and your families, together with all the members of the International Skating Union. May God bless you and your work! And I bless you, each one of you, with God’s blessing. Amen.

[Courtesy of the Vatican]

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a 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 four languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. 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, and EWTN. 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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