‘The Phenomenon’ is baptized at age 46: Soccer great Ronaldo Nazario embraces Catholic faith


Ronaldo Luís Nazario da Lima. / Credit: Shutterstock

ACI Prensa Staff, Sep 13, 2023 / 14:15 pm (CNA).

Tuesday was a special day for Ronaldo Luís Nazario da Lima, the Brazilian and world soccer legend nicknamed “O Fenômeno” (“The Phenomenon”), who at the age of 46 took a significant step in his life of faith by receiving the sacrament of baptism.

After the ceremony at São José (St. Joseph) Parish located in the Jardim Europa neighborhood on São Paulo’s west side, Nazario, two-time world champion with the Brazilian team, shared his experience on social media, highlighting the importance of the momentous moment in his life: “Today is a very special day. I was baptized!”

“The Christian faith has always been a fundamental part of my life, since I was little, although I had not yet been baptized. With the sacrament I feel truly regenerated as a child of God, in a new, more conscious and deeper way,” the Brazilian star wrote on his Instagram account Sept. 12.

In his message, Nazario also renewed his commitment to “follow the path of good, of my own free will, believing in the love of Jesus, in supportive love.”

Accompanying the message, the former soccer player from the Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, and other teams, shared several images from his baptism including his godparents Amilcar and Malu.


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A post shared by Ronaldo (@ronaldo)

On this important day, Nazario also thanked the priests Fábio de Melo and Dom Oswaldo as well as São José church.

In June 2022, Nazario demonstrated his growing closeness to the Catholic faith by fulfilling his promise to make the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage on a bicycle.

“I thought about a thousand things during the Camino, but I was grateful for many things that we have achieved with Valladolid,” said the former soccer player who is also president of the Valladolid club.

The various starting points of the Camino de Santiago all end at the tomb of the Apostle James in the Santiago de Compostela cathedral in Spain.

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

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1 Comment

  1. Evangelization and conversion are ongoing and never-ending processes. The born again Senhor Ronaldo Luís Nazario da Lima will have ample opportunities to bend low to uplift the downtrodden. Viva O Cristo Rey.

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