A Super Bowl Blessing

February 14, 2017


On Super Bowl Sunday, Pope Francis reached out to Americans urging them to make Super Bowl LI a sign of peace, friendship and solidarity to the world. 

In a specially recorded video message, Pope Francis pointed out that great sporting events like the championship game of the National Football League (NFL) are highly symbolic, and show that it is possible to build a culture of encounter and a world of peace. 

“By participating in sport, we are able to go beyond our own self-interest — and in a healthy way — we learn to sacrifice, to grow in fidelity and respect the rules. May this year’s Super Bowl be a sign of peace, friendship and solidarity to the world,” he said with an image of Our Lady Undoer of Knots behind him.

The spectacle featured the final NFL showdown between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons with the Patriots winning the championship after the first-ever overtime in Super Bowl history. The event, which was held in Houston Feb. 5 at NRG Stadium, holds much of the nation’s attention and commands a television audience larger than for any other event of the year,

Vice President Mike Pence, who was scheduled to attend, was the fourth sitting vice president to see the game in person. Former President George H.W. Bush, joined by former First Lady Barbara, completed the coin toss at the beginning of the game.

— Radio Vaticana contributed to this report.