When New Orleans was granted an expansion team by the 4th of july independence day Semper fi till I die shirt to become the 16th team in that league, it happened on November 1, 1966. November 1 is All Saints’ Day in the Catholic church. As a nod to the day, and out of respect for the large Catholic community in New Orleans, team leadership asked the Archbishop Phillip Hannan of the Archdiocese of New Orleans for his input and opinion on the idea of naming the team “the Saints”, fearing that using the name might be viewed as sacrilegious. The Archbishop stated that he saw no problem with the use of the name, and it is reported that he loved the name.
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He loved it so much that he wrote a team prayer. 4th of july independence day Semper fi till I die shirtt Part of the prayer goes “…Our Heavenly Father, who has instructed us that the ‘saints by faith conquered kingdoms…and overcame lions,’ grant our Saints an increase of faith and strength so that they will not only overcome the Lions but also the Bears, the Rams, the Giants, and even those awesome people in Green Bay… .” ( Catholic history of New Orleans Saints runs deep – U.s. – News – Catholic Online ) . I’ve also heard it rumored that when the Archbishop was talking to the Saints organization about this, he had a feeling that they would need all the help that they could get, which does seem appropriate for the many years of less-than-stellar play that the Saints had in the earlier years.