Pope Francis is keeping with the tradition of helping others on his birthday. Last year, the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church invited a group of homeless people to join him for breakfast at his residence in Santa Marta. This year, to celebrate his 81st birthday, the Pope threw a huge pizza party for sick children.
“The joy of children is a treasure,” said the Pope during his Vatican meeting with the children being treated by the Pediatric Dispensary of Santa Marta. “A joyous spirit is like good land that grows life well, with good fruit.”
On the day of the celebration, December 17, Pope Francis urged the children to speak with their grandparents. He also encouraged the grandparents to begin speaking more with the children. He requested the children not be “uprooted children, without the memory of a people, without the memory of the faith, without the memory of so many beautiful things that have made up history, without the memory of values.”
During his address, the Argentine Pope also asked parents to guide their kids and “teach them to talk with God. May they learn to pray, to say what they feel in their heart.” Said the Pope, “It is joy, to talk with the grandparents, with the elderly, and to talk with God.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Pope and the children prayed the Hail Mary over the pizza before the pontiff blew out his birthday candles. He then encouraged the children to eat the pizza, suggesting in a joking manner that it will help them grow.
Reportedly, the 81-year-old Pope was also offered a cake by Roman Roman pastry Hedera Sweetness and Co. The dessert was decorated with a drawing by Italian street artist Mauro Pallotta. The artwork showed Pope Francis walking with the earth globe on his shoulders, carrying a briefcase with the word “Valores” (Values) written on it.
On his birthday, Pope Francis hosts pizza party for sick children https://t.co/5Pvfe7yvqA
— Catholic News Agency (@cnalive) December 18, 2017
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Image Credit: L’Osservatore Romano