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“Athletes testify human potential,” says Pope Francis in a private audience

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At the end of the Diocesan Via Crucis held in the Sanctuary of last Sunday Pinu (7 April 2019), Bishop Mario Grech urged Christians to change in "other Mary".     Mgr. Grech was quoting the French Blessed Charles de Foucauld, who had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin.     At the same his view, the Bishop reiterated the call already made "to this Marian Year renew our entire award to Mary by naghmlulha act of entrustment or her consecration".     He said in the light of the theme of the same year, that "if we do not we take it with us to our homes nibzghux, Mary twezinna the walk of faith and thus help us remove the knots that we have on our stomachs".     This Mary can do because "she believed, but during its life it has grown in faith, matured in the faith, passed the trials sahhewha in complete abandonment in God's will". So, today as well, "with its so continue to release the knots created by the lack of faith ... For where there is faith, love is deeply suffered, and where love is missing, there are all sorts hardship ".     He added that it was precisely the lack of faith sallab Christ. Thus, recalled what was said once the Servant of God Father Michael Attard in a homily on the Sorrow: Mary nibkuha expect us not to, but it nibku for sins which are insallbu Christ today as well.     The theme of the meditations of the Via Sagra this year was "the Savior Partners" and they were written by Fr Gerard Buhagiar, rector of Ta 'Pinu Sanctuary. Due to bad weather, this year this walk with Cross Street was not made with stations along the High Ghammar, but the Basilica.Pope Francis met in a private audience on Saturday with all the international delegates who participated in the Annual Congress of the European Union Cycling (UEC), which this year was a historic one because it was merged with that of the African Cycling Confederation (CAC).

For this audience, which was held in the Clementina Hall, one of the Apostolic Palace halls near the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican City, were among others John Zammit and Gozitan Joe Bajada, President and Secretary General of the Malta Cycling Federation.

All delegates present had the chance to shake hands with His Holiness, while Gozitan Joe Bajada was also so lucky to change the white zucchetto with Pope Francis.

“The human potential is created in the image and the similarity of God.” This was the core message of Pope Francis made during the private audience.

Pope Francis noted the strong relationship between sport and the Church that has a long history, which has become ever stronger over time.

His Holiness said, “sport can be a great help to the human development of all, encouraging them to give of their best, as they seek to attain certain goal. This is because sport teaches perseverance, sacrifice, and self-denial. We can think, for example, of the long and demanding training or the observance of a strict discipline of life.”

“The practice of a sport also teaches us not to be discouraged and to start again with determination after a defeat or injury.” Pope Francis concluded by saying that “sport often becomes an opportunity to express with enthusiasm the joy of living and the true satisfaction of having crossed the finishing line.”

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