Pope Francis celebrates his birthday with a tango, a prayer, and over eight hundred kilograms of chicken.
The birthday of a world leader is often dramatic affair, and the leader of the Catholic Church certainly did not disappoint. Pope Francis had a cake and many cards from dignitaries from all over the world, and he also celebrated with a tango dance. Although turning seventy eight this year, it is said that Pope Francis has not forgotten his Argentinian roots, and the tango demonstration was a wonderful echo back to that culture.
However, Pope Francis also received a seemingly strange present: just over eight hundred kilograms of chicken, but Pope Francis will not be expected to eat all of the chicken himself. Instead, the chicken will be distributed to the poor through soup kitchens in and around Vatican City. During Pope Francis’ birthday celebrations, he traveled around in his open topped car. Children reached out to give him birthday cards that they had made themselves, and Pope Francis was obviously touched by their creativity and generosity. Pope Francis’ Hispanic roots were also acknowledged in the signs that many people held up in the crowd, reading “Feliz Cumpleaños,” which means “Happy Birthday” in Spanish. Many sang Happy Birthday to him in a variety of languages.
Once again Pope Francis demonstrated that although he was celebrating something exciting for himself, his eyes did not falter from those around the world that were in need. He ended his time with the people by asking them to join with him in prayer for those who were suffering in the terrorist attacks that had taken place in Pakistan, Yemen, and Australia. He prayed: “May the Lord receive in his peace the dead, comfort the relatives and convert the hearts of the violent who don’t even stop in the face of children.”