Pope Francis celebrated an active if low-key 80th birthday on Saturday, sharing breakfast with eight homeless people before celebrating Mass with cardinals as greetings flowed in from around the world.
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 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 aging process, telling them, “For some days now, I have had in mind a word that seems ugly: Old age, a thought that frightens.” But then he recalled his words during his first papal greeting in 2013, …
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