Sunderland give Pope a jersey, get first win of season very next day


Image via BBC

Sunderland entered this weekend with just one point out of the season’s first eight games and a load of problems. They already sacked their manager and came in with the league’s worst offense and worst defense. Perhaps a little divine intervention was all they needed.

On Saturday, Pope Francis was given a personalized Black Cats shirt by Father Marc Lyden-Smith, Sunderland’s team chaplain. The next day, the team won its first match of the season, besting arch-rivals Newcastle 2-1 in the Ware-Tyne derby.

A miracle?

According to the BBC, Fr. Lyden-Smith was on a pilgrimage to Rome with about sixty people, and per the club’s request had taken a jersey along for His Holiness.

Lyden-Smith said:

"It was a bit of a miracle really. There were 120,000 people gathered in the square. We managed to get tickets up at the front and the pope was guided towards us.

"Some people from the North East managed to shake his hand and then I asked if he would accept the shirt and he took it and waved it in the air to cheers."

According to Lyden-Smith, Pope Francis was too “diplomatic” on Saturday to say that he would root for one team over another, but he didn’t need to reveal who he’d support — It’s pretty clear enough now!


San Lorenzo puts Pope Francis’ face on jerseys, promptly wins game on own goal

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

After learning that the newly elected leader of the Catholic church, Pope Francis I, was an avid supporter of Argentinian side San Lorenzo, the team proudly had “Papa Francisco” badges put on their jerseys for the game against Colon.

And wouldn’t you know it, thanks to the power of the papal stickers, the “Saints” (yes, of course that’s their nickname) won with a little divine intervention: an own goal from the opposition!

Here’s the goal in question:


Newly elected Pope Francis shows San Lorenzo colors

By now, the entire world is reading up on newly elected Pope, Jorge Bergogolio, and what his appointment will mean to the Catholic Church.

Though that question remains to be answered, it really doesn’t concern us soccer junkies. Photos surfaced on the Pope’s true colors on Wednesday, that of Argentine club San Lorenzo.

Still an active member, San Lorenzo released images highlighting Bergogolio’s love for the club. Is worth noting that San Lorenzo were named after local priest Father Lorenzo Mass, the same priest who allowed children to play in his church’s yard to discourage them from playing near the dangerous trams around the city.

Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano and Argentina’s basketball international Lucas Victoriano congratulated Bergoglio’s appointment on Twitter: