“Sports make it possible to build a culture of encounter among everyone for a world of peace,” says the Holy Father. “I dream of sports as the practice of human dignity, turned into a vehicle of fraternity. Do we exercise together this prayer intention?”
On the occasion of the 2016 Summer Olympics, the pope’s August prayer intention is “Sports, a culture of encounter,” the eighth installment of The Pope Video, the video series created to disseminate the monthly intentions of Pope Francis for the challenges of humanity.
With some 10,500 athletes from 206 International Committees expected to participate, the pope invited all to join their voice to spread this message of brotherhood through sports. “that sports can contribute to the peaceful coexistence of all peoples of the world.”
Father Frédéric Fornos, SJ, recently appointed by Pope Francis as International Director of The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and its youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement (EYM), said that “the great challenges facing the world today, against violence and barbarism that arises more than ever, it is necessary that sports become a fraternal encounter among peoples. There are so many fears! Sports can strongly contribute to break down the walls that separate us. I hope the global Olympic meeting contributes to creating a culture of encounter in the service of peace.”
Conceived and produced by La Machi Communication for Good Causes, The Pope Video has the support of the Society of Jesus, IndigoMusic,GettyImagesLatam, with the collaboration of the Vatican Television Center.
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Two background pieces…
“In 1960, Pope John XXIII welcomed 4,000 athletes to St. Peter’s Square prior to that year’s Rome Olympics’ opening….Fast-forward thirteen Olympiads plus a revolution in communications and Pope Francis releases a 90-second video in time for the 2016 Rio gathering that is part prayer and part celebration of sport.”
… some of the early 20th century popes were themselves athletes, or athletically minded, or had played on sports teams.
No pope stands out more for his vigorous, healthy lifestyle and support of physical culture than John Paul II (1978-05). …
Pope Francis as a lad belonged to the San Lorenzo athletic club and keenly supports the San Lorenzo soccer team. While meeting with an Italian soccer club in May 2015, he reminded Catholic athletes “not to forget to go to Mass amid training and competition.”