Pope Francis sent a greeting to participants in the Invictus Games being held in Toronto from September 23-30. The greeting came in a letter from Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin to Cardinal Thomas C. Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, reported Vatican Radio.
The games are an initiative of Prince Harry of England, in support of combat veterans recovering from the wounds of war.
The first Invictus Games were held in London in 2014, attracting more than 400 athletes from 13 nations. The second installment was in 2016 in Orlando, Florida, drawing more than 500 competitors from 14 nations. This year’s event has brought participants from 17 nations to participate in 11 sports.
Here is the message from Cardinal Parolin to Cardinal Collins:
His Eminence Cardinal Thomas C. Collins
Archbishop of Toronto
His Holiness Pope Francis sends warm greetings to all gathered for the interreligious celebration of the Invictus Games, to be held in Toronto on 19 September 2017. In particular, he offers his best wishes to the men and women who will be competing and to their families attending the games. In recalling with deep gratitude the great sacrifices which these servicemen and women have made in promoting peace on behalf of their countries and the wider human family, His Holiness encourages all the competitors to offer the world a further witness of the indomitable human spirit which, through God’s grace, is capable of meeting every challenge with the determination and courage. In particular, he prays that these days of competitions may faster a fruitful encounter between nations, cultures and religious beliefs, and represent a concrete sign of unity among peoples and the dignity of every human life. Renewing his best wishes for all who will participate in the Invictus Games, Pope Francis offers the assurances of his prayers, and he willingly invokes upon all present the divine blessings of strength and peace.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State