Pope Francis’ 85th Birthday Party Included Lots of Kids and Cake

For almost 100 years, the Santa Marta Pediatric Dispensary has been providing free medical care to children from all over the world.

Pope Francis had a belated birthday celebration on Dec. 19 with children helped by the Vatican's Santa Marta Pediatric Dispensary
Pope Francis had a belated birthday celebration on Dec. 19 with children helped by the Vatican's Santa Marta Pediatric Dispensary (photo: Veronica Giacometti/CNA / EWTN)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Sunday joined a belated celebration of his 85th birthday, thrown by the children and families helped by the Vatican’s charitable pediatric clinic.

During the Dec. 19 party, Pope Francis was entertained by songs and skits from the kids, and everyone was treated to a piece of a giant birthday cake.

Pope Francis turned 85 years old on Dec. 17.

Pope Francis had a belated birthday celebration on Dec. 19 with children helped by the Vatican's Santa Marta Pediatric Dispensary. Vatican Media

Pope Francis had a belated birthday celebration on Dec. 19 with children helped by the Vatican's Santa Marta Pediatric Dispensary. Vatican Media

For almost 100 years, the Santa Marta Pediatric Dispensary has been providing free medical care to children from all over the world.

The annual event with Pope Francis was skipped last year due to the pandemic, but the 2021 party included a new attraction: A Christmas village complete with Santa Claus and elves.

The Christmas Village was set up inside and outside the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. Children were able to have their photo taken with Santa Claus and each got a Christmas box filled with pizza, muffins, and chocolate.

Part of the Christmas Village at Pope Francis' belated birthday celebration on Dec. 19 with children helped by the Vatican's Santa Marta Pediatric Dispensary. Veronica Giacometti/CNA

Part of the Christmas Village at Pope Francis‘ belated birthday celebration on Dec. 19 with children helped by the Vatican’s Santa Marta Pediatric Dispensary. Veronica Giacometti/CNA

During the visit, Pope Francis greeted the kids and spoke to them about what it means to love other people.

“Love for others means that we must look at and listen to the people’s needs,” he said. “There are always people who need us, but if we don't look them in the face we will never understand...”

“If I go down the street and I see that someone is cold and hungry, even if he is bad, I help him,” the Pope said. “Always help each other. Today we are all here because we are friends.”

Pope Francis had a belated birthday celebration on Dec. 19 with children helped by the Vatican's Santa Marta Pediatric Dispensary. Veronica Giacometti/CNA

Pope Francis had a belated birthday celebration on Dec. 19 with children helped by the Vatican's Santa Marta Pediatric Dispensary. Veronica Giacometti/CNA

Pope Francis was surrounded by red balloons and the Happy Birthday song was playing in Spanish when he was presented with a large box containing a birthday cake.

Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Joseph Cordileone attends the mass and imposition of the Pallium upon the new metropolitan archbishops held by Pope Francis for the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Paul at Vatican Basilica on June 29, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican.

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A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER: Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco has a profound understanding of what the U.S. bishops have called the preeminent issue of our time, and his stand is courageous.

Ivan Aivazovsky, “Walking on Water,” ca. 1890

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