Pope Francis Celebrates 80th Birthday With Homeless

Natalya Mihailova | 19 December 2016
Head of the catholic church Pope Francis celebrated his 80th birthday on Saturday by sharing breakfast with eight homeless people inside the Vatican before presiding over a subdued mass in the chapel of the Apostolic Palace with a small group of cardinals.

The pope chatted individually with each of the homeless guests- four Italians, two Romanians, a Moldovan and a Peruvian – at the Vatican hotel where he resides, and shared Argentinian cakes with them before heading to Mass, the Vatican said.

The guests in return of the gesture offered the pope a bouquet of sunflowers. They were invited from among those staying around St. Peter’s Square and at nearby showers for the homeless established by the pope’s almsgiver.

Speaking to the cardinals, Francis contemplated the ageing process, telling them, “For some days now, I have had in mind a word that seems ugly: Old age, a thought that frightens.”

Francis has said he would only be at the helm of the Catholic Church for four or five years. March will mark four years since he took over. Like his predecessor Benedict, he said he will consider retirement.

However, observers say he wants to continue his efforts to make his church more responsive to the needs of the poor and marginalised.

Since you are here…

…we do have a small request. More and more people visit Orthodoxy and the World website. However, resources for editorial are scarce. In comparison to some mass media, we do not make paid subscription. It is our deepest belief that preaching Christ for money is wrong.

Having said that, Pravmir provides daily articles from an autonomous news service, weekly wall newspaper for churches, lectorium, photos, videos, hosting and servers. Editors and translators work together towards one goal: to make our four websites possible - Pravmir.ru, Neinvalid.ru, Matrony.ru and Pravmir.com. Therefore our request for help is understandable.

For example, 5 euros a month is it a lot or little? A cup of coffee? It is not that much for a family budget, but it is a significant amount for Pravmir.

If everyone reading Pravmir could donate 5 euros a month, they would contribute greatly to our ability to spread the word of Christ, Orthodoxy, life's purpose, family and society.