1. Pope Francis' love of football started when he was a child in Argentina. Both the players and the fans pray during the games.
2. Pope Francis’ hero was René Pontoni (1920-1983), who played for San Lorenzo in 1946 as they won the national title.
3. Pope Francis has good memories of going to games with his father in the Gasómetro Stadium. This was known as Club Atletico San Lorenzo de Almagro. It was founded by Padre Lorenzo Bartolome Massa in 1908; who allowed young people to play on church property instead of in the streets.
4. Pope Francis is a card-carrying member of the San Lorenzo Club. He has renewed membership annually since 2008, even as pope – (ID No. 88235). The San Lorenzo team had “Papa Francisco” badges on their jerseys during a game when San Lorenzo scored a 1-0 win.
5. Agentina's national team met with Pope Francis in August 2013 and took a photograph with him.
6. Pope Saint John Paul II is often prayed to by football fans as he also liked the game. Pope John Paul II was canonised by Pope Francis in April. John Paul II often played goalkeeper in his hometown of Wadowice, Poland.
7. Pope Francis has compared his role as Pope to sports “Pray for me that in the playing field that the Lord has placed me, I can play the game honestly and courageously fora the good of all.”
8. Pope Francis encouraged sports as a gift from God on August 13, 2013 he said, “Live your sport as a gift from God, an opportunity not only to improve your talents, but also a responsibility… I have confidence in all the good you can do, especially among young people.”
9 At the start of the World Cup Pope Francis said, "I wish everyone a wonderful World Cup, played in a spirit of true fraternity." on Twitter. 12 Jun 2014
10. The day before the World Cup Final Match Pope Francis Tweeted
"The World Cup allowed people from different countries and religions to come together. May sport always promote the culture of encounter." 13 Jul 2014For Breaking News, Prayers, Inspirational Stories, and Free Catholic Movies LIKE http://fb.com/catholicnewsworld