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Athens Cathedral Mass to welcome Olympians

A solemn Mass will be concelebrated in St Dionysius Catholic Cathedral on 11 August to welcome participants in the Olympic Games, which open on 13 August.

"The Olympic Games are an event before which the Church cannot remain indifferent," said Catholic Archbishop Nikolaos Foskolos of Athens.

"In the first Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, the Catholic Church contributed actively to its development," said Archbishop Foskolos, president of the nation's Catholic episcopal conference.

"The French Dominican priest Fr Henry Didon coined the Olympic motto 'Citius, Altius, Fortius,' that is, 'Faster, Higher, Stronger,'" the archbishop recalled. The French priest, he said, "organised a solemn celebration in our Cathedral of Sts Dionysius in which distinguished Greeks and foreigners participated."

The archbishop invited all priests accompanying the athletes to participate in the Mass of welcome.

Solemn Mass to Help Welcome Olympics' Participants

Pope John Paul II - Visit to St Dionysius Cathedral 4/5/01
The Religious Roots of the Olympics (Beliefnet/Zenit)

22 Jul 2004