With joy and much enthusiasm, children belonging to Italy's Catholic Action group welcomed Pope Francis.
Their meeting was noticeable because the Pope excelled in this environment. He asked the children to become "living rocks, united to Christ.” He also told them that "the birth of Jesus is not a fairytale.”
The Pope greeted each child individually. They all gave the Pope a gift. He listened closely to their explanations as they sang along Christmas carols. A young girl from the Piedmont region, where the Pope's parents were born, took him several traditional foods.
"We're from Piedmont, close to your grandparents' house. This is a small gift.”
"No, this is a big gift!”
Some of the children even used this time to give him a Christmas and a birthday present. Pope Francis turned 77 on December 17. The kids gave the Pope a new pair of shoes.
They also gave him pasta, but they told him it was a work of art. The Pope then joked with them about that.
"They say that ravioli is a work of art, but I thought it was food.”
Pope Francis didn't hold back, and to make the children happy, he even played a drum. It was an unforgettable event for the children and Pope Francis, an early Christmas treat .