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Reuters
Church News

Pope honours Pele as Christ the Redeemer wears his shirt on anniversary of football legend's death

by Kelly Valencia

On the first anniversary of his death, Brazil's Christ the Redeemer was illuminated in a Pele shirt as part of tributes to the soccer legend.

Pele, who passed away at the age of 82 due to colon cancer, was honoured with a projection of a Brazil shirt featuring his name and number 10, accompanied by a message from Pope Francis.

The Pope, acknowledging Pele's devout Catholicism, praised him as an athlete who embodied positive sportsmanship.

Francis cited St Paul's First letter to the Corinthians saying it traced a "marvelous parallel between the athlete's efforts in the stadium and Christian life".

He continued by saying that the memory of the footballer "remains indelible in the minds of many and encourages the new generations to look to sport as a means to boost the bonds of unity between all".

Religious ceremonies commemorated Pele's legacy in Santos, the city where he gained fame with Santos club, and in Tres Corações, his birthplace in 1940.

 

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