Pope Francis is 77 years old today, Tuesday, December 17th. Among the many plans for marking the recurrence are a special visit from a delegation of players and managers from San Lorenzo de Almagro, the Holy Father’s favorite soccer club (to which he is also chaplain), who will present him with their recent league championship trophy.
began at the weekend, with the young patients served by the Vatican's
pediatric dispensary singing "Happy Birthday to the Holy Father during
the course of their audience with him in PaulVI Hall.
well-wishers are also sending the Holy Father a four-foot-tall birthday
card featuring a depiction of “Mary, Un-doer of Knots”, which is one of
Mary’s honorific titles that is dear to Pope Francis.
The head of
Vatican Radio’s Spanish-language programme for Latin America, Fr. Hugo
Guillermo Ortiz, SJ, who lived with then-Fr Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ,
when the man who would become Pope Francis had charge of a parish
attached to the Jesuit formation house of which he was rector from
1980-1986 in his native Argentina, told us the Holy Father’s greatest
joy is in making others happy: especially children.
“We had a special
assignment,” he said, “to make the children happy.” That there were
teaching and faith formation programmes for the parish goes without
saying, he explained. “Nevertheless,” said Fr Ortiz SJ, “Making [people]
happy was a principal pastoral challenge – and the parish was an
You, too, can offer best wishes for a happy
birthday and for many happy returns by visiting our Facebook Page: Vatican Radio – English Section.