Scottish boy, 7, gifts Pope Francis a Celtic top in Vatican City

A little bit of Glasgow belonged to Pope Francis yesterday after he was gifted a customised Celtic top by a seven-year-old boy.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 5th April 2019, 7:40 am
Updated Friday, 5th April 2019, 8:08 am

God’s earthly representative received the green and white shirt during Wednesday morning’s General Audience in St Peter’s Square in the Vatican City.

The General Audience is a weekly gathering in which the Holy Father addresses the crowd, delivering speeches and leading prayers.

Religious media group Sancta Familia Media, which is based in Motherwell, shared a photograph of the Pope receiving the shirt on their Twitter feed.

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The Hoops top, which was emblazoned on the back with Pope Francis in large letters and a number 11, was a gift to the Catholic figurehead from seven-year-old Kian McInally from Glasgow.

Along with the Celtic home shirt, the Pope received a note which read: “To Pope Francis, Love from Kian McInally, Age 7 from Glasgow”.

Writing on Twitter, @browny1888 said: “My friends mum gave him it with Pope Francis 11 was a present from her grandson with a note for the pope different class.”

The Pontiff, a fan of Argentinian side San Lorenzo, has expressed his love for the beautiful game on many occasions and says he played as a goalkeeper in his formative years - bringing to mind the ex-Celtic keeper and devout Catholic Artur Boruc, who Hoops fans famously dubbed the “holy goalie”.

Pope Francis was handed a Celtic top by members of the crowd - believed to be Scottish tourists. Picture: Sancta Familia Media

Speaking on Spanish television earlier this week, however, Pope Francis said it is technically “sacrilege” to label Barcelona star and fellow countryman Lionel Messi as “God” and wants fans to refrain from using the term to describe successful footballers.

Celtic Football Club was founded in 1887 by Sligo-born catholic priest Brother Walfrid, who established the team to help raise funds for the poor Irish immigrant population in Glasgow’s east end.