Pope Francis meets with the Argentine dwarf soccer team at an audience on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022, at the Vatican. / Photo credit: Vatican Media

Denver Newsroom, Oct 28, 2022 / 07:05 am (CNA).

On Wednesday morning Pope Francis received the dwarf Argentine soccer team in an audience, encouraging them to continue with courage and to be themselves.

Pope Francis highlighted the “courage” of those present gathered in the Vatican during the time of “opening new paths.”

“You are brave, cultivate this courage, never, never throw it away: the courage to go forward in life the way you are. With your intellectual, affective, physical values, everything.”

Then Pope Francis explained that “in life one can look at things with two measures: the upside or the downside. That is to say: there are the usual pessimists and whatever happens to them they look on the downside: ‘Too bad’ … And they get depressed. And those people, the only thing they do is build bitter horizons.”

“And there are the optimists, like you, who look at any difficulty from the upside: go on ahead, make progress” to keep on going “as we are now with what I have. I mean, capitalize on everything, even capitalize on what seems to be negative,” he said.

The Holy Father explained that this is “human maturity” and expressed his joy at seeing that these dwarf players have chosen this path.

The soccer players explained to the Holy Father all the efforts made for the inclusion of dwarves in society through sports.

In addition, the players of this National All Star Team that won the America’s Cup and the European Cup championships gave Pope Francis a jersey signed by everyone, a team schedule with the image of the Virgin of Itatí and an image of the Virgin of the Valley of Catamarca on it.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.