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Pope blesses Rodrigo Santoro, the new Jesus in 'Ben-Hur'

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Michael Kovac/WireImage

Playing Jesus Christ has its perks. Love Actually actor Rodrigo Santoro, who’s starring as Jesus in the upcoming Ben-Hur film adaptation, was blessed by Pope Francis on Wednesday.

Santoro’s Ben-Hur co-star Nazanin Boniadi posted a photo of the blessing on Instagram, where she wrote, “What a remarkable experience to witness Pope Francis bless my dear friend and co-star Rodrigo Santoro, who is playing Jesus in #BenHur.”

Ben-Hur, based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, is set to debut Feb. 26, 2016.

UPDATE: This post has been revised to reflect that the upcoming film Ben-Hur is not a remake of the 1959 film of the same title but an adaptation of Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. EW regrets the error.