No Picture
News Briefs

‘God is just so good,’ Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp says after his clutch performance

February 15, 2022 Catholic News Agency 0
Los Angeles Rams’ Cooper Kupp (L) breaks away from Cincinnati Bengals’ Jessie Bates III during Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, on February 13, 2022. / Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images.

Boston, Mass., Feb 15, 2022 / 15:05 pm (CNA).

The NFL’s Lombardi Trophy has found a home in the City of Angels after a stunning performance Sunday night by the Los Angeles Rams. Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp was in disbelief at his reward as he gave glory to God for his clutch performance.

“I don’t feel deserving of this. God is just so good,” the standout receiver said in a postgame interview. “I’m just so thankful for the guys I get to be around, for the coaches, for my family.”

In another postgame interview Kupp talked to the media about his memory of losing to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl three years ago. Kupp, who was on the sidelines during Super Bowl LIII due to an ACL injury, said that God revealed to him in a vision that the Rams would be back in the Super Bowl and they would win it, too.

Part of the vision, he said, was that “somehow” he was going to walk off the field as the MVP of the game. Kupp, 28, who has two young sons (Cooper Jr., 3, and Cypress, 1), said that he had only shared this information with his wife Anna.

From the beginning of the 2021-2022 season he said that he believed every game was “written already.”

Kupp, who is Christian, said that he felt “free” knowing that he got to play “from victory not for victory.” He was able to play feeling validated because of God’s love for him, rather than become of his performance on the field.

Kupp scored two touchdowns on Sunday night, including a one-yard grab towards the end of the game which secured the win for the Rams. He totaled eight catches for 92 yards on the night. The final score of the game was 23-20, giving the Rams their second Super Bowl title ever. You can watch Kupps’ Super Bowl highlights in this video.

In an interview with Sports Spectrum prior to the Super Bowl, Kupp said that God taught him this season that he would be most fulfilled by staying rooted in God’s purpose for his life.

Kupp said that his motivation coming into a game day is to “run the race in such a way as to honor God” with the passions and talents that he has been given. 

When he is rooted in playing for God, Kupp said, he feels he is at a great place where can “play freely,” be a better teammate, player, husband, and father. 

Kupp said that even if the Rams had not won a game all year, this would still be his favorite season because he spent the time playing for God.

“I’ve been enjoying every second of being a teammate to the guys that are here and just being able to honor God every time I step into this facility,” he said.


No Picture
News Briefs

Gold medalist weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz inspires the Philippines with her victory and Catholic devotion

July 27, 2021 Catholic News Agency 0
Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz proudly displays her Olympics gold medal and the Miraculous Medal, a devotional medallion depicting the Virgin Mary. / Hidilyn Diaz’s Instagram Stories

Manila, Philippines, Jul 27, 2021 / 12:55 pm (CNA).

Philippine Catholic bishops congratulated the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medalist, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, not only for her victory but for her show of faith and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Diaz’s triumph came in the women’s 55-kilogram weightlifting event on July 26. She also set an Olympic record after lifting a combined weight of 224 kilograms.

After completing her final lift in a very close competition, Diaz held her hands to her face, burst into tears and clutched at her Miraculous Medal of the Blessed Virgin Mary hanging from her neck.

“Thank you, Lord, thank you Lord,” she cried repeatedly after the winning lift.

Later on the podium at the medals ceremony, Diaz pointed heavenward after singing the Philippine national anthem, then made the Sign of the Cross before stepping down and shouting “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!” (“Long live the Philippines!”)

Diaz’s inspirational victory and public display of her Catholic faith touched the hearts of church leaders and Filipino Catholics watching from home and quickly went viral on social media.

“We admire her devotion to the Blessed Mother as she carried in her victory her great faith in God,” said Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the country’s bishops’ conference. “Hidilyn is a true weightlifter who draws her strength from her love for the country and her deep Catholic faith.”

Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila said Diaz has given inspiration to all Filipinos.

“Thank you, Hidilyn, for the tremendous honor you have bestowed on our country,” he said via Church-run Radio Veritas.

“Your success gives light, inspiration, and hope to all of us, especially in these difficult times,” he continued. “Thank you for the testimony of your strong faith in God and deep love for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thank you for reminding us that there is no real success if it does not come from God.”

In a media interview on July 27, Diaz said her Miraculous Medal was given to her by friends before she departed for Tokyo earlier this month.

“They prayed a novena for nine days before my competition,” she told reporters, adding that she prayed a novena herself and is grateful for all the support her “prayer warriors” have given her.

A novena is a popular Catholic spiritual devotion consisting of the recitation of a set form of prayer for nine consecutive days, in petition for a divine favor or in preparation for a liturgical feast or as participation in an important event such as a Year of Jubilee.

Diaz said the religious medal is “a sign of our prayers and faith in Mama Mary and Jesus Christ,” adding that her faith in God is the major reason for her success. 

Diaz is the fifth of six children of a poor trike driver in a small village in the southern Philippine city of Zamboanga.

In previous media interviews, the future Olympic gold medalist said that when she was a child she wanted to be a banker so that her mother would stop complaining about the lack of money.

A cousin, however, introduced the then-10-year old girl to weightlifting by training her with makeshift barbells made from plastic pipes with cast concrete weights at either end.

Bishop Ruperto Santos of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People of the bishops’ conference said Diaz’s victory showed that Filipinos can rise up to any challenge with God’s help.

“[S]he has shown to us that the Filipino can. We can rise up from all challenges in life. We can surmount all obstacles,” said the bishop.