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"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," Francis will say, according to the Associated Press. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope Francis will make an inaugural appearance at the Super Bowl on Sunday night to deliver a video message to tens of thousands in attendance at NRG Stadium in Houston.

It’s the first time a pope will speak at a Super Bowl game, even by digital means. A Vatican spokesman said the pope will speak in his native language of Spanish for the message, which will air before the game or during the first quarter.

The statement is expected to draw attention to the game as 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,” Francis will say, according to the Associated Press. “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.”

Francis has previously used Twitter to reach the world with his message of unity during the Olympics and soccer’s World Cup.

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