Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 24 February |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Josef Mayr-Nusser
home iconChurch
line break icon

Jerry Jones, NFL Hall of Fame delegation meet Pope Francis

POPE NFL

HO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO / AFP

Pope Francis is presented with a Pro Football Hall of Fame helmet and a jersey during an audience with members of the US National Football League (NFL), on June 21, 2017 at the Vatican.

Philip Kosloski - published on 06/21/17

The Pope urged the delegation to foster virtues that provide a model for young people.

This morning Pope Francis received a small delegation from the National Football League that included former Hall of Fame inductees Curtis Martin, Ronnie Lott and Franco Harris, as well as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his wife. Also traveling with the delegation were members from the Hall’s board of trustees. The trip was organized by board member Steve Schott.

Pope Francis opened up his remarks, joking that, “As many of you know, I am an avid follower of ‘football,’ but where I come from, the game is played very differently!”

Pope Francis is well known for his love of soccer, frequently granting audiences to soccer teams, having a special preference for his favorite team San Lorenzo de Almagro from his native Argentina.

POPE NFL
HO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO / AFP
In this handout picture released by the Vatican press office Pope Francis poses with members of the US National Football League (NFL), on June 21, 2017 at the Vatican.

He then urged the NFL delegation to put an emphasis on the “traditional values of sportsmanship…both on the field and in your own lives.”

The Pope continued: “Our world, and especially our young people, need models, persons who show us how to bring out the best in ourselves, to use our God-given gifts and talents…to point the way to a better future for our societies.”

In his message Pope Francis also stressed the need to “build a culture of encounter” anticipating the “needs of our brothers and sisters, and combat the exaggerated individualism, indifference and injustice that hold us back from living as one human family.”

During the Super Bowl earlier this year Pope Francis sent a video message that was aired at Houston’s NRG Stadium, expressing his hope that the “Super Bowl be a sign of peace, friendship and solidarity for the world.”

POPE NFL
HO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO / AFP
In this handout picture released by the Vatican press office Pope Francis is presented with a Pro Football Hall of Fame helmet during an audience with members of the US National Football League (NFL), on June 21, 2017 at the Vatican.

At the meeting the NFL delegation presented Pope Francis with a signed jersey featuring the number 1 and “Papa Francesco” as well as a signed Hall of Fame helmet.

According to the NFL Hall of Fame it is the first time an NFL organization has met with a Roman Pontiff.




Read more:
How Roger Staubach’s prayer became the first “Hail Mary” pass

Below is the full text of Pope Francis’ message to the NFL delegation:

Dear Friends, I am pleased to greet you, the members and directors of the American Pro Football Hall of Fame, and to welcome you to the Vatican. As many of you know, I am an avid follower of “football,” but where I come from, the game is played very differently! I thank Mr. Anderson for his gracious words of introduction, which stressed the traditional values of sportsmanship that you seek to embody, both on the field and in your own lives, your families and your communities. Our world, and especially our young people, need models, persons who show us how to bring out the best in ourselves, to use our God-given gifts and talents, and, in so doing, to point the way to a better future for our societies. Teamwork, fair play and the pursuit of personal excellence are the values – in the religious sense, we can say virtues – that have guided your own commitment on the field. Yet these same values are urgently needed off the field, on all levels of our life as a community. They are the values that help build a culture of encounter, in which we anticipate and meet the needs of our brothers and sisters, and combat the exaggerated individualism, indifference and injustice that hold us back from living as one human family. How greatly our world needs this culture of encounter! Dear friends, I pray that your visit to the Eternal City will increase your gratitude for the many gifts you have received and inspire you to share them ever more generously in shaping a more fraternal world. Upon you and your families I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace. God bless you all!


Pope Francis video-message on Super Bowl Sunday

Read more:
WATCH: Pope Francis sends video-message to Americans for Super Bowl Sunday

Tags:
Pope FrancisSports
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
TEMPTATION OF CHRIST,WILDERNESS,DESERT
Philip Kosloski
Why does Lent last 40 days?
2
Meat
Philip Kosloski
Here’s why Catholics don’t eat meat on Fridays during...
3
Jim McIngvale
Cerith Gardiner
Mattress Mack steps up again to help those suffering freezing wea...
4
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
5
FATIMA
Philip Kosloski
Rarely seen photos of Fatima visionaries, Lucia, Jacinta and Fran...
6
NOTRE DAME
J-P Mauro
Notre Dame’s spire will need over 1,000 oak trees to rebuil...
7
Via Dolorosa FIFTH STATION
Zelda Caldwell
Franciscans in the Holy Land offer virtual Way of the Cross for L...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.