Pope Francis recently met with the Italian Draughts (Checkers) Federation in the Vatican to mark their centennial celebration.

During the meeting, he praised the game of checkers for being accessible and beneficial to the mind. “The game of draughts has two beautiful characteristics: it stimulates the mind and is accessible to all,” Pope Francis said.

He described checkers as an activity that requires “intelligence, skill and attention” but not substantial resources. This makes it an easy way for people to gather and engage with each other.

All you need is a chessboard and checkers, two players, and it is a nice way of being together.”

Pope Francis also talked about the role of checkers in the lives of migrants who find it as a source of relief in new environments. He recounted how migrants, amid great uncertainty, play checkers with those who welcome them, creating moments of simplicity and sharing.

He concluded by encouraging members of the federation to keep spiritual moments alive during their gatherings, saying community and interaction within the game is most important.

Photo credit: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com
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