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Rome Reports

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December: Pope Francis' 80th birthday

At the start of December, the pope welcomed John Kerry to the Vatican, in what was his last visit to Rome as Secretary of State. Pope Francis gave him his three most important documents as going-away present.  "The three documents: The joy of the gospel, the care for creation, and the family.â? "Pray for me.â? "I promise. Thank you. Thank you, so much.â? However, the pope's most important political meeting in December was this one. He sat down with the president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, and his rival and predecessor, ílvaro Uribe, who is also a ver strong advocate against the peace treaty Santos is trying to get through. Even though there weren't any concrete agreements between the two politicians, this meeting might have paved the way for more dialogue in Colombia.  On December 17, the turned 80 years old. Such a special anniversary merited an equally special celebration, so the pope decided to have breakfast in his residence with eight homeless people. After that, he celebrated Mass with all the cardinals who live in Rome.  POPE FRANCIS "When one uses this stage of life to give joy, wisdom, and hope, one starts to live again.â? It was a normal work day for the pope, who met with children from the Community of Nomadelfia. And so, Christmas arrived in the Vatican. This year, the nativity scene in St. Peter's Square was brought from Malta. It includes a boat in honor of migrants who have to cross the Mediterranean in terrible conditions. Next to it is this 80-feet-tall fir tree that was brought from the Trentino region in the north of Italy.  A magical scene that will light up the New Year in the Vatican.  JMB/AG RR ? - PR Up: