Sylvester Stallone and Pope Francis had a momentous meeting at the Vatican City in Rome on Friday. The iconic actor, best known for his role as Rocky Balboa, introduced his family to the head of the Catholic Church in a heartwarming encounter that was captured on video and shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, by Vatican News.
The video begins with Stallone, 77, warmly shaking hands with Pope Francis, 86, before introducing his wife, Jennifer Flavin. Stallone then proudly presents his three daughters, Sophia, 27, Sistine, 25, and Scarlet, 21, as well as his son, Frank Stallone. The Pope, clearly taken aback by the number of Stallone women, jokes in Italian, "Three, so many!"
Expressing gratitude for the meeting, Stallone thanks Pope Francis for taking the time out of his busy schedule. Both men share their mutual admiration and honor for one another, with the Pope conveying, through a translator, that they grew up watching Stallone's films. The actor, delighted by the compliment, playfully assumes his famous “Rocky” boxing stance and challenges the Pope, exclaiming, "Ready? We box!"
The meeting concludes with the Stallone family and Pope Francis posing for a memorable photograph. This encounter holds special significance for Stallone, as he first portrayed the beloved character of Rocky Balboa in 1976, a role that would define his career. The “Rocky” franchise has since expanded to include nine movies, such as the recent "Creed III," featuring Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors. However, it is important to note that Stallone himself does not appear in "Creed III."
While Stallone's meeting with Pope Francis took place at the Apostolic Palace, his family was concurrently enjoying an Italian vacation. The video reveals an enjoyable and lighthearted atmosphere as Stallone and the Pope engage in a friendly shadowboxing session. The Pope greets each member of the Stallone family, shaking hands with them and making a playful remark about the number of daughters.
The Vatican had previously released a press statement listing the various individuals the Pope was scheduled to meet that day, including Stallone. Alongside his encounter with the Hollywood star, Francis also had meetings with bishops and an archbishop from around the world. Notably, this was not Stallone's first visit to the Vatican. Nearly a year ago, he shared a photo on Instagram, holding all the keys to Vatican City and expressing his appreciation for the rare and special moment.
The Stallone family's Italian vacation has been eventful, with Sylvester Stallone receiving an honorary citizenship from the city of Gioia del Colle. A picture shared on Instagram shows Stallone and his brother, Frank, standing next to a donkey, captioned with "In the fatherland." The legendary actor attended the ceremony with his family, and they posed for photos to commemorate the occasion.
Stallone's daughters have also been active on social media, sharing snapshots and amusing TikToks. The actor and his wife, Jennifer Flavin, have been married for 25 years, and their relationship has endured several moments of strife. In August 2022, Flavin filed for divorce, but the couple evidently reconciled the following month.
Aside from his successful acting career, Stallone has ventured into reality television with the show "The Family Stallone," which premiered on Paramount+. The show offers viewers a glimpse into the lives of Stallone and his family.
Sylvester Stallone's meeting with Pope Francis showcased the intersection of entertainment and spirituality, with both men expressing their admiration and gratitude for one another. This encounter will undoubtedly be remembered as a poignant moment in Stallone's career and a remarkable highlight of his family's Italian vacation.