WATCH: Pope Francis preaches inclusion at Super Bowl LI

He said that events in Houston were symbolic of inclusion and building "a world of peace"

Pope Francis, Superbowl LI

Image: Superbowl LI

The New England Patriots trailed last night's Super Bowl LI 21-3 heading into the second half and looked as though they would need a miracle to pull them back into the game.

Whether their performance will go down as one of the greatest in Superbowl history - or if the Atlanta Falcons will be viewed as the team that threw it away - Sunday's NFL showpiece made for entertaining viewing.

Aside from the game itself, Lady Gaga jumped from the stadium roof during her half-time show and we even got a glimpse of a new Pirates of the Caribbean film, among other commercial blockbusters.

One appearance that did come as a surprise last night was a video message from Pope Francis, who delivered a message of inclusion and the importance of participating in sport.

"Great sporting events like today's Superbowl are highly symbolic, showing that it is possible to build a culture of encounter and a world of peace," he said. 

"By participating in sport, we are able to go beyond our own self interest - and in a healthy way - learn to sacrifice, to grow in fidelity and respect the rules.

"May this year's Superbowl be a sign of peace, friendship and solidarity to the world. Thank you."