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Blessing and inauguration of the “Vatican House of Sport”

Inauguration of the operational headquarters of the official Vatican Sport Association

Wednesday, 20 September 2023, 18:30


Vatican City, 11 September 2023 - A "House" with its doors wide open to welcome women and men of sport, professionals and amateurs. Relaunching the inclusive and solidarity-based vision of Pope Francis to truly be “Fratelli tutti”, brothers to all - the theme of his latest encyclical - also through sport.

In the ancient heart of Trastevere, in Palazzo San Calisto, which is an extraterritorial area of the Holy See, Athletica Vaticana places its operational headquarters (the registered office is in Via del Pellegrino in the Vatican City) at the disposal of the world of sport, as a crossroads of encounters between athletes of different cultures and religions, with special attention to the most fragile people.

The “Vatican House of Sport” will be blessed and inaugurated on Wednesday 20 September, at 18.30, by Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça, prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education, to whom the Pope, in the recent Apostolic Constitution (2022), entrusted sport.

The inclusive and supportive style, the human and fraternal service of sharing, and humble Christian witness among sporting women and men sport give meaning to the Vatican's official multi-sports association. Athletica Vaticana is an “ambassador of the Pope”, because it “bears concrete witness, on the streets and in the midst of the people, to the solidarity face of sport, welcoming young migrants and people with disabilities”, wrote Pope Francis in his message on the occasion of the Mediterranean Games in Algeria.

A unique “sports diplomatic corps” made up of some 200 men and women - Athletica Vaticana proposes - with the new “House” in Palazzo San Calisto - to experience sport as an opportunity for encounter, sociality, dialogue with all, and friendship that becomes fraternity. A particularly important, even decisive, service in a society torn by wars, tensions, divisions, fears. Because sport, if lived in its soul and preserving its gratuitousness and noble “amateur” spirit, may not only give hope but even prevent conflicts, large and small, between states and between people.



Journalists and media operators wishing to attend must apply, up to 24 hours before the event, through the Holy See Press Office online accreditation system at: press.vatican.va/accreditamenti