The Pope said he hope the Super Bowl would provide 'a sign of peace, friendship and solidarity for the world'

In a papal first, Pope Francis recorded a video message that was shown to tens of thousands of fans during Sunday’s Super Bowl game between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons.

In the message played on a big screen before the game at the NRG Stadium in Houston, the Pontiff, speaking in Spanish, expressed hope that the Super Bowl provides “a sign of peace, friendship and solidarity for the world.”

“Great sporting events like today’s Super Bowl are highly symbolic, showing that it is possible to build a culture of encounter and a world of peace,” he said.

“By participating in sport, we are able to go beyond our own self-interest and in a healthy way we learn to sacrifice, to grow in fidelity and respect the rules.”