The pope has met in the Vatican with leaders of various religions and Olympians to inaugurate the meeting on sports and religion.
Many members of the International Olympic Committee attended, including Prince Albert of Monaco, whom the pope recognized and greeted.
The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, also wanted to attend perhaps his last meeting with the pope.
Secretary General of the UN
"I deeply appreciate your moral leadership and humanitarian vision.”
President, International Olympic Committee
"All of us, here we are united in our shared believe in the power of sport, we are gathered here because we believe sport can change lives and make the world a better place.”
The pope thanked them because one of the concerns of these two institutions is that there are open doors for all kinds of people to participate in sports, including children off the street.
"It is important to participate in sporting activities, and I am happy that at the centre of your reflections these days there is the commitment to ensure that sport is always more inclusive and that its benefits are truly accessible to all.”
He also asked all institutions, like the participating teams and sponsors, not to reduce sport to just a business.
"The challenge is that of maintaining the honesty of sport, of protecting it from the manipulations and commercial abuse. It would be sad for sport and for humanity if people were unable to trust in the truth of sporting results, or if cynicism and disenchantment were to drown out enthusiasm or joyful and disinterested participation.”
The other participants were athletes, who marched before everyone with candles of peace. Chinese pianist Lang Lang also played music, who at 34 years old is one of the most talented in the current field.