Pope Francis Celebrates 87th Birthday with Children at the Vatican

The Pope’s festive birthday celebration brings joy to children in need

Pope Francis celebrated his 87th birthday in a heartwarming and festive manner at the Vatican. Surrounded by children from the Vatican’s “Santa Marta” pediatric dispensary, the Pope enjoyed a day filled with song, acrobatics, and laughter. This annual tradition allowed the Pope to spend his special day with those who are most in need and bring a sense of joy to their lives.

A Joyful Celebration with the Children

The Pope spent his birthday in the Paul VI Audience Hall, where he was greeted by the children with open arms and warm smiles. One young girl couldn’t contain her excitement and rushed forward to give the Pope a hug. The children held up signs expressing their birthday wishes in Italian and sang songs to commemorate the occasion. Circus performers entertained the crowd with acrobatic stunts, plate twirling, and hula hoop tricks, eliciting laughter and applause from the Pope and the children.

A Message of Hope and Preparation for Christmas

In his address to the children, Pope Francis reminded them of the upcoming Christmas celebration and the significance of Jesus’ birth. He encouraged the children to prepare their hearts for Christmas and reflect on what they would ask Jesus for. With their eyes closed in silence, the Pope urged them to think deeply about their wishes and to ask Jesus for them later. This moment of introspection allowed the children to connect with the true meaning of Christmas and the joy that comes from sharing their hopes and dreams with Jesus.

A Birthday Cake and Blessings

To mark the occasion, a white cake adorned with an illustration of Pope Francis and children was presented to the Pope. The children gathered around the cake, singing “Happy Birthday” to “Papa Francesco.” The Pope blew out the lone candle and playfully encouraged the children to steal a bit of icing with their fingers. This lighthearted moment brought smiles and laughter to everyone present, creating a sense of unity and joy.

Earlier in the day, Pope Francis joined 22,000 people in St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus prayer. Children in the crowd held up banners expressing their birthday wishes to the Pope. After giving the final blessing, the crowd serenaded the Pope with a heartfelt rendition of “Happy Birthday” in Italian. The square was also filled with the presence of a giant figure of the infant Jesus in a manger, as people brought their own infant Jesus figures to be blessed by the Pope. This tradition is a way for individuals to seek blessings for the Jesus figure that will be placed in their Nativity scenes for Christmas.

Prayers for Children in Need

During the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis called on the faithful to pray for children who will experience a difficult Christmas in war-torn areas, refugee camps, and situations of profound misery. He expressed gratitude to those who would pray before their Nativity scenes for these children and extended his warmest wishes for a Merry Christmas to all.


Pope Francis’ 87th birthday celebration at the Vatican was a testament to his unwavering commitment to bringing joy and hope to those in need. By spending his special day with children from the Santa Marta pediatric dispensary, the Pope created a memorable experience filled with laughter, music, and love. Through his words and actions, he reminded everyone of the true meaning of Christmas and the importance of reaching out to those who are less fortunate. As Pope Francis continues to inspire and uplift, his birthday celebration serves as a powerful reminder of the transformative power of compassion and kindness.

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