Pope celebrates 85th birthday at ‘Christmas village’

Pope Francis at his birthday party in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican on Sunday (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis joined a belated celebration of his 85th birthday on Sunday, thrown by the children and families helped by the Vatican’s charitable paediatric clinic. Source: CNA.

During the party, Pope Francis was entertained by songs and skits from the kids, and everyone was treated to a piece of a giant birthday cake. Pope Francis turned 85 on December 17.

For almost 100 years, the Santa Marta Paediatric Dispensary has been providing free medical care to children from all over the world.

The annual event with Pope Francis was skipped last year due to the pandemic, but the 2021 party included a new attraction: A Christmas village complete with Santa Claus and elves.

The Christmas village was set up inside and outside the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. Children were able to have their photo taken with Santa Claus and each got a Christmas box filled with pizza, muffins, and chocolate.

During the visit, Pope Francis greeted the kids and spoke to them about what it means to love other people.

“Love for others means that we must look at and listen to the people’s needs,” he said. “There are always people who need us, but if we don't look them in the face we will never understand ... If I go down the street and I see that someone is cold and hungry, even if he is bad, I help him. Always help each other. Today we are all here because we are friends.”

FULL STORY

Pope Francis’ 85th birthday party included lots of kids and cake (By Hannah Brockhaus, CNA)

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Pope to kids: Jesus loves you, wants you to love others (CNS

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