Pope Francis spoke at the end of the Mass co-celebrated at 8 am this morning with scores of cardinals in the Pauline Chapel in the Apostolic Palace.
Today, his 80th birthday, the Holy Father cited the poet
Friedrich Hölderlin, calling on the faithful to pray for him so that his
“Old age may be quiet, religious and fruitful,” and, after a pause,
“joyful” as well.
The pope’s day began early.
The Vatican Press Office announced that
this morning the pontiff had breakfast with eight homeless people who
usually stay under the colonnade of St Peter.
They included two women
and six men from Italy, Moldova, Romania and Peru, who gave the pontiff
three bouquets of sunflowers, which the pontiff placed in St Martha
The Vatican Press Office also announced that today, "a birthday
dessert will be offered on the pope’s behalf in many canteens in Rome,
at the end of lunch or dinner.
Guests at various dormitories will also
receive an envelope with a small gift and a memento depicting Holy