By Charles Igwe
Ronaldo Luís Nazario da Lima, the renowned Brazilian soccer legend known as “O Fenômeno” (“The Phenomenon”), marked a significant moment in his faith journey at the age of 46 by receiving the sacrament of baptism.
The baptism ceremony took place at São José (St. Joseph) Parish in the Jardim Europa neighborhood on the west side of São Paulo. Following the event, Ronaldo Nazario, a two-time world champion with the Brazilian national team, took to social media to share his profound experience.
Nazario expressed the importance of this moment in his life, emphasizing that Christian faith had always been a fundamental part of his existence, even though he had not yet been baptized. He conveyed that through the sacrament, he felt genuinely reborn as a child of God, with a newfound, more conscious, and deeper connection to his faith.
In his Instagram post on September 12, the Brazilian soccer star renewed his commitment to following the path of goodness and embracing the love of Jesus, driven by his own free will.
Accompanying his message were images from his baptism ceremony, featuring his godparents, Amilcar and Malu. Ronaldo Nazario also extended his gratitude to the priests Fábio de Melo and Dom Oswaldo, as well as São José church, for their role in this significant event.
This development in Nazario’s faith journey follows his pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago in June 2022, where he fulfilled a promise to complete the journey on a bicycle. The former soccer player, who also serves as the president of the Valladolid club, reflected on his experience during the pilgrimage, expressing gratitude for the achievements of the Valladolid team.
The Camino de Santiago pilgrimage routes converge at the tomb of the Apostle James in the Santiago de Compostela cathedral in Spain, marking a profound spiritual journey for many.