VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis showed his proximity to the people on Wednesday during his usual audience in St. Peter’s Square by meeting and greeting members of a seminarian soccer team and a motorcycling club.
Amid a crowd of 17,000 faithful and visitors, the pope climbed up into his pope-mobil to find five boys and two girls, who accompanied him on his route through the square.
After the reading of the homily, the pontiff greeted various groups and delegations, among them members of the Clericus Cup, a football association made up of seminarians from the Catholic Church in Rome.
He signed shirts and even briefly played with a football.
The players gifted the pope a captain’s armband amid cries of “there’s only one captain” from the crowds, a chant normally reserved for former Roma star Francesco Totti.
Francis also greeted members of a Catholic motorcycling association who had traveled from Würzburg in southern Germany, who presented him with a club biker jacket with his name on it.
They also brought along a personalized Harley Davidson for the ride, which the pope signed with a “Franziskus.”