Pope Francis and Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Henrikh Mkhitaryan Meets with Pope

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YEREVAN (Armenpress) — Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the former midfielder of the national football team of Armenia, and now a member of Inter Milan team, met with Pope Francis and presented him with his football jersey on November 14.

It is noted that a football match with the title “We are playing for peace” was held at the “Olympic” stadium in Rome, which was attended by many famous football players, including Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The tournament is being organized for the third time by the archpriest Scholas Occurrentes foundation. Before the match, the Pope welcomed the football players, the organizers of the competition and their families.

The Match for Peace, organized by the Pontifical Foundation Scholas Occurrentes, took place at Rome’s Olympic Stadium, with the support and blessing of Pope Francis on the evening of November 14.

Ahead of the match, the Pope greeted the world-renowned soccer players, organizers and their families, in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

The game, with the motto “We Play for Peace,” features the participation of many important figures in the world of football, and follows the first two matches, held on 1 September 2014 and 12 October 2016.

This year’s game pays homage to football giant Diego Maradona, who participated in both of the previous Matches for Peace, leading the ‘Scholas squad.’ Maradona passed away in November 2020.

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Receiving the footballers, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan among them, the Holy Father thanked them for growing seeds of peace in a world marked by war.

Peace, the Pope said, is the fruit of gestures like theirs, namely “of closeness, friendship, the outstretched hand, always,” and “not with the stone in your hand to throw it.

These “seeds of peace,” he said, may be small, but “are capable of changing the world.”

The athletes had the opportunity to approach the Pope and communicate with him, giving him various gifts. The former midfielder of the Armenian national team presented him with his T-shirt.

 

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