Sunderland fans have been hoping for some divine inspiration after Pope Francis was pictured posing with their club's shirt.
Pope Francis has welcomed the Italian and Argentine football teams to the Vatican ahead of Wednesday's friendly between the sides.
Pope Francis said that gay people should not be judged or marginalised and should be integrated into society.
Despite the rain in Brazil the Catholic faithful once again turned out in droves for Pope Francis, who visited the town of Aparecida, to attend Mass at the Basilica which houses Brazil's patron saint, the dark-skinned Virgin of Aparecida.
Thousands jammed themselves inside the church, while tens of thousands more stood in the rain outside and happily cheered the pope.
The pontiff also visited what he called a "shrine of human suffering" - a hospital in Rio that treats substance abusers.
The Pope took a strong stance against the legalisation of drugs as a means to fight drug addiction and criticized the trend in Latin America to decriminalise narcotics.
In his first public address on the issue, the new Pope Francis said education was the way to end drug use.
The pontiff was visiting a new treatment facility for alcoholics and drug addicts at the Sao Francisco Hospital in Rio de Janeiro as part of his week-long visit to Brazil centred on the Catholic Church's World Youth Day.
Pope Francis has arrived at a shrine in Brazil's Sao Paulo state to hold the first public Mass of his Latin America tour.
Thousands packed into the Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, whom Catholics venerate as the patroness of Brazil.
The pontiff, eager to appear more hands-on with the public than his predecessors, greeted a young member of the crowd with a kiss.
An estimated half million Roman Catholic faithful braved the rain and crowded onto Copacabana beach for a Mass under rainy skies last night as the World Youth Day festival got underway.
Pope Francis was taking a day off on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro for rest and private meetings during his visit to Brazil.
The pontiff joined a private church service that was attended largely by Brazilian Catholic nuns and church officials.
Today the pontiff will fly over farmland and sugar cane fields to visit the mammoth basilica that holds the image of Brazil's patron saint, the dark-skinned Virgin of Aparecida.
Crowds flocked around the Pope's car after his motorcade took a wrong turn after arriving in Rio de Janeiro.
Violent protests broke out in front of the Guanabara government palace in Rio de Janeiro less than an hour after Pope Francis left the venue following his official welcome ceremony.
Clashes broke out when hundreds of protesters began to hurl firebombs at riot police near the palace.Riot police responded by firing rubber bullets at protesters and pursuing them down the street.The protests are a continuation of the widespread anti-government unrest that began last month.
The violence was brief and ended with two protesters arrested and four injured.
The Pope's car was mobbed by the faithful after his motorcade took a wrong turn after arriving in Rio de Janeiro.
Rio Transportation Secretary Carlos Osorio said the car Pope Francis was riding in from the airport to the city centre inadvertently turned into the wrong side of a 12-lane thoroughfare, known as Avenida Presidente Vargas.
Instead of taking the left lanes that were free of traffic, the car turned into the right lanes cluttered with buses and taxis, forcing the pontiff's car to stop.
Thousands of faithful lining the streets then rushed to the car, reaching into the pope's open window, many taking photos of him with their phones.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said that although the pontiff's motorcade took a wrong turn the pope was never concerned for his safety, even if his secretary who was sitting with him in the car was.
"His secretary was afraid, but the pope was happy, with his hand out the window waving," Lombardi said.
Pope Francis toured downtown Rio de Janeiro in his popemobile as frenzied crowds swarmed through the streets, jostling to catch a glimpse of the pontiff.
Mobs of people screamed wildly as the Pope waved and smiled, and some ran along the streets trying to keep up with his procession.
Brazilian police have found a small homemade explosive in a parking garage near a Catholic sanctuary in Aparecida where Pope Francis is due to visit later this week, according to state news services.
The explosive, made with a plastic pipe wrapped in tape, was safely detonated by a police bomb squad.
It is unclear whether the device was related to the Pope's visit.