Pope Francis sends a message to participants in the “Mass of the Nations” on the sidelines of the 19th Mediterranean Games, saying sport can help overcome the division caused by conflict.
By Devin Watkins
Several participants in the 19th edition of the Mediterranean Games took part in a Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Santa Cruz, in the Algerian city of Oran on 2 July.
Pope Francis sent his greetings to the “Mass of the Nations”, and urged the athletes in their desire “to give the best of yourselves.”
The Pope said authentic sport is built on honesty and respect for other people.
By engendering human values, he added, sport helps us to avoid the tragedy of war.
Solidarity in sport
Pope Francis also thanked the organizers of the Mediterranean Games for inviting a small delegation of the Vatican Athletics, which is acting as his ambassadors to the event.
The Pope concluded his message by encouraging athletes to help sport become “an experience of unity and fraternity.”
“It is with this spirit,” he said, “that I invited you to run together the great race of life under the maternal care of Our Lady of Santa Cruz.”