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NFL's Saints bask in Twitter tag from Pope Francis

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Los Angeles (AFP)

The New Orleans Saints got a surprise shout-out on Sunday from Pope Francis, with fans and at least one player taking the inadvertent tag as a good omen for the NFL team.

Francis created five new saints on Sunday in a canonisation ceremony at the Vatican attended by heads of state from across the world.

"Today we give thanks to the Lord for our new #Saints." he posted on Twitter -- with the combination of a hashtag and the capital letter of Saints apparently adding the New Orleans team's fleur-de-lis logo. "They walked by faith and now we invoke their intercession."

One wag with the Twitter handled @hacksawDG2 replied with a Tweet asking "Who Dat, father" -- invoking the Who Dat rallying cry of Saints fans.

Saints linebacker Alex Anzalone took time out from preparations for the team's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars to put a screen shot of Francis' tweet on his own Twitter feed.

"Wow, are we blessed or what?!??" Anzalone wrote.

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