Soccer Superstar Ronaldo Cements His Faith by Getting Baptized
Written by G Njuguna on October 24, 2023
Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima, more commonly referred to as just “Ronaldo” to soccer fans, took to his Instagram to announce that he had been baptized into the Catholic church at the age of 46. He noted that he felt fully regenerated on this “very special day.” “The Christian faith has always been a fundamental part of my life since childhood, even though I had not yet been baptized. With the sacrament, I feel truly regenerated as a child of God — in a new, more conscious, deeper way,” the Brazilian former player wrote in Portugues. “I renew my commitment to follow the path of good, of my own free will, believing in the love of Jesus, in supportive love.” Ronaldo was a soccer superstar until he retired in 2011 at the age of 34, having led Brazil to a World Cup win in 2002. He now owns Real Valladolid and Cruzeiro Esporte Clube of Brazil. Ronaldo was baptized at the Church of Sao Jose in the Jardim Europa neighborhood of São Paulo. Ronaldo also participated in Catholic confirmation and First Holy Communion.
Ronaldo showed his growing connection to the Catholic faith in 2022 when he rode his bike for the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. Known as The Way of St. James in English, the pilgrimage has various starting points and ends at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in the northwest of Spain. This cathedral is the legendary resting place of the apostle St. James. Ronaldo had to ride 200 km for the pilgrimage. Ronaldo described it as a time of reflection. “I thought about a thousand things during the Camino, but I was grateful for many things that we have achieved with Valladolid,” he said.
Soon after his baptism, Ronaldo turned 47 and had something else to celebrate: his marriage to fiancé and super model Celina Locks. “Today, we brought our families together for an intimate religious celebration and thus marked the beginning of a week of many celebrations,” the pair announced. This marks the third marriage for Ronaldo; however, his ex-wife Milene was one of the first to congratulate the couple. “I’m happy for you,” she responded. “God bless and protect you always. Long live love.” Milene is also a former footballer. As Ronaldo has declared himself regenerated after his baptism, it can be hoped that the couple will have many years together and that Ronaldo will use his newfound conviction in the service of others. However, one area in which it seems unlikely he will serve is coaching. When asked in an interview about the possibility of being a coach, Ronaldo said the thought “kills” him. “‘It’s unthinkable. I’ve not even come close. But I have nothing but admiration for those who do,” he concluded.