Vatican City, 18 December 2013 (VIS) - Among the participants in today's general audience there was a delegation from the Buenos Aires football team “San Lorenzo de Almagro”, of whom Archbishop Bergoglio was an official supporter, the holder of card no. 88235N-0, and who won this year's league championship in Argentina, a trophy they have not held since 2007.
The “crows”, as they are called by the members and fans of San Lorenzo, brought the Pope a replica of the Inicial Championship Cup and the vice-president of the club Marcelo Tinelli, brought a team shirt, as a gift for Francis who celebrated his 77th birthday yesterday, 17 December.
The young Jorge Mario Bergoglio attended the San Lorenzo grounds with his father, and during his period of office as archbishop of Buenos Aires he continued to be a member and to visit to the club to celebrate Mass and to confess the players. The team was founded by a Salesian, Fr. Lorenzo Massa, who following ordination was sent to the troubled Almagro quarter and, seeing the enthusiasm of many young people for football, decided to gather them together in a team, saving some of them from a life of delinquency. The nickname “crows” was given to them by their neighbours in the quarter, who used to exclaim “Here come the crows!”, alluding to the cassock worn by Fr. Massa when he accompanied them in training.
Today, in the general audience, Pope Francis said, “I especially greet the San Lorenzo football team, who won the Championship last Sunday and have brought the Cup here. Thank you very much”.