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Pope Francis to rugby players: Live life like in the playing field

2013-11-22

It's no secret the Pope is into sports. He says it's not only good for the body, but also to build character and spirit.

Addressing the national rugby teams of Italy and Argentina, he highlighted the values of sports, and those for rugby in particular.

POPE FRANCIS
"It's a tough sport, a lot of physical contact, but there is no violence. There's great loyalty, great respect. Playing rugby is tiring. It's no easy walk. And I think it's useful to strengthen character, and one's will.”

In sports, as in life, he said, one must fight to reach a goal. That's why the Pope urged all players to fight with that same spirit in their lives, as in the field. 

POPE FRANCIS
"All of our lives leads to a goal. This search, the search for the goal, is tiring. It requires a lot of effort, commitment. But the important thing is not running alone. To get there we need to run together, and the ball must be passed from hand to hand, and carried along until we reach the goal line. Then we celebrate.”

This isn't the first time Pope Francis met with the national squads from Argentina and Italy. The last time was in August, with the soccer teams.

At the end, the Pope asked the players to pray for him and all of his collaborators, so that they too can be good team players.

POPE FRANCIS
"I pray for you, and I wish you the best. But also pray for me, so that even I, with my collaborators, can make a good team and make it to the goal line.”

The captains gave the Pope a jersey of their respective team, and an olive tree that they will symbolically plant in the stadium, before the start of their match on Saturday. From then, it'll be moved to the Vatican Gardens.


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