Pope Francis made a special stop in the air-conditioned Paul VI Hall on Wednesday to greet several sick and disabled people, before lauding the Special Olympics organization on its 50th anniversary.
He gave a warm welcome to the “Deaf Catholic Youth Initiative of the Americas” group and prayed for the spiritual outcome of their pilgrimage to Rome.
“The Lord reserves a special place in His heart for whoever has a disability, and so does the Successor of Peter,” the Pope said.
Outside in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis welcomed a delegation from the “Special Olympics” organization, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of its foundation.
“The world of sport offers a particular opportunity for people to grow in mutual understanding and friendship, and I pray that this Olympic Flame may be a sign of joy and hope in the Lord who bestows the gifts unity and peace on His children,” he said.
The Pope then bestowed blessings of joy and peace upon “all who support the aims of the Special Olympics.”