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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis celebrates 81st birthday


First, they sang “Happy Birthday” to Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square before the traditional Sunday Angelus. 

“Happy Birthday”

Later, hundreds of children and their families gave the pope this surprise. The children are patients at the pediatric hospital inside the Vatican. 

First, the children made a puzzle, which read “The whole world in the hospital.” 

“Did you all do this?”

“Yes!”

“You're so nice. Very beautiful. Everyone...”

Then, these other two children brought him another surprise. 

It wasn't the only candle Pope Francis blew out on his 81st birthday. 

Later, everyone had this 13-foot pizza for lunch.

Pope Francis took advantage of having the parents in attendance to give them this advice. 

POPE FRANCIS
“Take care of the children's happiness, don't make them sad. When children see there are problems at home, that their parents argue, they suffer. Don't make them sad. They must always grow up with joy.”

The pope didn't eat lunch with them, but he did take this group photo before leaving. 

The Holy Father also received this cake with a drawing by artist Maupal. On it, Pope Francis carries the divided world on his back, to heal its wounds.