Pope Francis Tweeted About New Saints, and The New Orleans Saints Are Thrilled

Did Pope Francis just reveal that he is a New Orlean Saints fan? Probably not, but the Saints are taking all the help they can get. The current leader of the Catholic Church took to Twitter to tweet about the canonization of five new saints but instead invoked the Louisiana-based football team, and they aren’t mad about it. The franchise is more than happy to have his holiness’ seal of approval.

What did Pope Francis say about the New Orleans Saints?

Technically, the pope said nothing about the New Orlean Saints, but Twitter doesn’t see it that way. When his holiness took to the social media platform to share the canonization of five new saints, the team behind his twitter feed used the hashtag Saints. It seemed like a perfectly natural choice, but they accidentally included the New Orleans Saints logo. The fleur-de-lis, a stylized Lily is used as the logo for the NFL team, but it also happens to be the symbol associated with French Catholic saints.

The canonization of five saints occurred on Oct. 13, which in the United States also happened to be football Sunday, making the blunder all the more interesting. Canonization is the process by which an individual is deemed a saint in the Catholic church. According to How Stuff Works, the process can take decades and, in some cases centuries. The lengthy process includes investigations into the candidate’s life, then beatification, a process that recognizes the candidate’s acts. Finally, a person is canonized as a saint if there is proof of two posthumous miracles.

The New Orleans Saints were more than willing to play along

The Saints managed to extend their winning streak on Sunday with a victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The grueling matchup ended with a 13-6 win for the Saints, sending the Jaguars to a 2 and 4 record. The Saints, who now leading their division, took to Twitter to suggest they may have had a little divine intervention.

The team took to their Twitter feed to share the good news of their win with their fans. That’s nothing new. They tweet regularly every Sunday. What was different about this one was the seal of approval they got from an unlikely source. The team behind the Saints’ twitter feed noted that there was no way they could lose after Pope Francis’ blessing. They shared the pontiff’s tweet with their own fans and included a special hashtag. The franchise thinks they are #blessed.

How did the Twitter mistake happen?

While fans of the NFL team would like to think they have the support of his holiness, the entire thing was a simple mistake. The pontiff and his team were likely wholly unaware that Twitter gave the hashtag they chose to use to the New Orleans Saints. While hashtags are free for anyone to use, specific hashtags are strongly associated with a particular team or action. When that happens, Twitter auto-fills the rest of the hashtag for the user.

In the case of the Saints’ hashtag, a fleur-de-lis is added to the word when the hashtag symbol is used with the word. The Saints aren’t the only NFL team that Twitter has linked to a hashtag. The use of #Ravensflock brings up the Baltimore Ravens’ logo. When users use #Riseup, the logo of the Atlanta Falcons is inserted into the tweet, while #GoPackGo conjures up the Green Bay Packers’ logo.