Gratia ad robur: the example of Manny Pacquiao

Filipino boxer, Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao, generally known as "Manny" (or "Pacman") has fought at various weights in a glittering career and is regarded as the number one "pound for pound" boxer. Coming from a background of extreme poverty, he left home at 14 and lived on the streets of Manila. Married with four children, he was elected last May to the Filipino House of Representatives, representing the province of Sarangani. He is also a military reservist with the rank of Sergeant Major.

Manny attributes his sporting success to the grace of God. When he returns to the Philippines after winning a fight abroad, he attends Mass in thanksgiving Mass at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila. (I wonder if he could be persuaded to contribute to the building of a minor Basilica in Blackfen?)

Manny has generously supported charitable projects, especially providing for the education of poor people in his native Mindanao. While on the road, he makes sure of getting to Sunday Mass. On the rare occasions that he loses a fight, he recognises the will of God and accepts defeat graciously. He is not ashamed to witness to the faith on his official website: see, for example his devotional post in advance of Christmas last year.

He is fighting Shane Mosley on 7 May at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, to retain the WBO Welterweight World Title.

H/T @lukecoppen and CNN Belief: The prayerful pugilist

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