Game of Draughts: Challenges the Mind and Connects Hearts

Pope’s greeting to the members of the Italian Checkers Federation

Vatican Media

This morning, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the members of the Italian Checkers Federation

The meeting with Pope Francis was an opportunity to celebrate the power of gaming as a tool for personal and social development. Furthermore, he invited everyone to rediscover the pleasure of gaming and use it as a means to build bridges between people and strengthen the social fabric.

He gave them the greeting that we published below:

Greetings from the Holy Father

Dear friends, welcome!

I am pleased to meet you, one hundred years after the birth of your Federation. I greet the President and all of you.

The game of draughts has two beautiful characteristics: it stimulates the mind and is accessible to all. Indeed, it requires intelligence, skill and attention, but not great means or facilities. It is one of those games that, wherever you may be, you can easily create a moment of encounter and enjoyment: all you need is a chessboard and checkers, two players, and it is a nice way of being together. This makes draughts a game for everyone, practised in various parts of the world. For example, it is reported to be one of the most common pastimes among migrants who land on our shores: many of these brothers and sisters, in situations of great uncertainty and apprehension, find relief by playing draughts, sometimes even together with the people who welcome them, in simplicity and sharing. And it is also a game that makes us exercise our logical capacity, and there is a need for this, because the abuse of the new media dulls it instead! It is good to hear the children, it is something very good!

Dear friends, it is nice that you meet each other with joy, to get to know each other and challenge each other sportingly: in a world characterised by individualism, which at times risks becoming isolation, your game brings a breath of clean air, fresh air. So, I wish you all the best in your activities; and I also encourage you to keep alive the moments of spirituality that you usually associate with the most important events organized by the Federation.

Thank you for your visit, and I bless you. Please, do not forget to pray for me. And always bring the children, who are a promise! Thank you.


Holy See Press Office Bulletin, 26 April 2024