Pope Francis gifted custom Ravens jersey autographed by Lamar Jackson
Thanks to the MVP-caliber play of Lamar Jackson, the Baltimore Ravens bandwagon has been taking on quite a few new passengers this season. Interestingly enough, the AFC North-leading squad can probably now count Pope Francis among their newest fans.
Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori was in Vatican City this week for a meeting with His Holiness. While in Rome, Lori presented Pope Francis with a custom No. 8 Ravens jersey — Jackson’s number — that was signed by both the superstar quarterback as well as head coach John Harbaugh.
#Blessed.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 4, 2019
@archbalt is in Rome to meet with @Pontifex and brought him a custom Ravens jersey signed by @Lj_era8 and Coach Harbaugh! pic.twitter.com/sqgrDqursX
“The pope, of course, he’s a big soccer fan, but the pope gave us a thumbs-up,” Lori said of the gifting of the jersey,” via Jamison Hensley of ESPN. “[It] got a big smile out of him … it was a really happy moment.”
Harbaugh, a devout Roman Catholic, weighed in on the situation on Wednesday while speaking with reporters.
“It’s great,” Harbaugh said. “Baltimore is the home of the Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church. It first started here in the New World, here in Baltimore. So, it’s an honor to have Pope Francis here, obviously, especially as a Catholic. I appreciate that. And it’s kind of neat.”
"We'll see if he's wearing his jersey anytime soon."— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 4, 2019
Coach Harbaugh on @Pontifex receiving a Ravens jersey from @archbalt: pic.twitter.com/FcL2GvnFd6
“We’ll see if he’s wearing his jersey any time soon,” Harbaugh added.
Interestingly, Harbaugh’s brother, Michigan Wolverines head coach John Harbaugh, enjoyed the opportunity of presenting some gifts to Pope Francis during a team trip to Rome in 2017.
“I heard he knows what American football is,” Harbaugh said of Pope Francis, via the Ravens’ official site. “My brother actually met him in Rome a couple years ago. So I guess they’re tight. I don’t know.”