This Vatican sporting presence in Malta, in the center of the Mediterranean, two months after Pope Francis’ apostolic journey, is particularly significant after the historic international debut a year ago in San Marino: the “Pope’s team” will relaunch, with humility and simplicity , the contents of the message of fraternity, inclusion and peace witnessed by the Pope in Malta on 2 and 3 April. Trying to translate it and live it in the universal language of sport. Because even through the sporting experience, the Mediterranean may be a place and experience of peace among peoples.
Sara Carnicelli (27 years old, daughter of a Vatican employee) and Emiliano Morbidelli (44 years old, technician at the “Bambino Gesù” hospital in the Palidoro site) will run the 5,000 meters. With them athletes and athletes from Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Georgia, Gibraltar, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia as well as San Marino and Malta. There are some protagonists of Olympic finals and world finals.
Athletica Vaticana is confirmed on the international sports stage together with peoples who – not only in sport – do not have the great limelight, to concretely testify to the “culture of fraternity” and the “culture of encounter”. Building bridges of friendship and dialogue with everyone. In an international context of tension and war, sport can be – it has always been since its birth as a human experience – an opportunity for mutual knowledge that brings down prejudices and hostility. And, through the dialogue between different cultures and religions, create friendship between people and peoples to run together in life, even before in sport.
In Malta, in the style indicated by Pope Francis, the official Vatican team will meet social and ecclesial realities. He will be a guest of the archdiocese of Malta in the seminary, precisely to share this sporting experience with the synodal style of the encyclical Fratelli tutti. In fraternal synergy, therefore, with the Maltese Church and also the embassy of Malta to the Holy See. With the two athletes – Sara and Emiliano – and their family members (Giorgia, 6 years old, the mascot), there will be Monsignor Melchor Sánchez de Toca, under-secretary of the Department for Culture and Education, and Claudio Carmosino who, after 40 years in the Fiamme Gialle sports group of the Guardia di Finanza, coordinates the training of Athletica Vaticana.
And again in Malta, from 1 to 4 July, the “historic” cricket team, which already lives the experience with Athletica Vaticana, will go to give a common sporting testimony. Formed by students of the Roman Pontifical Universities, it will play a game and make a series of pastoral meetings in parishes among young people. In the style, in fact, of a “team of the Pope”. This morning, at the general audience, this experience was presented to Francis.
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