Pope Francis turns 86: Mobility problems not limiting his schedule

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Pope Francis is turning 86. He was born on December 17, 1936 in the Flores neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Since becoming pope, Francis has sometimes chosen to spend his birthday with children from the Vatican's children hospital in Rome. 

Although he was walking around during his last birthday, 85 has seen the Pope frequently use a wheelchair to move around during public events due to knee pain.

Pope Francis has said he is not considering getting his knee operated on since he experienced problems with anesthesia while undergoing colon surgery in 2021.

Yet that hasn't put a stop to Pope Francis' plans for 86. At the end of January, he is scheduled to make a week-long trip to Africa, where he will travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

And in August, the Pope will make a shorter trip to Lisbon for World Youth Day. 

Yet, the Pope did say he would have to slow down the pace of his future trips while returning to Rome from Canada. 

I don't think I can go with the same pace of the previous trips, you know? I think at my age and with this limitation, I have to save some energy.

Still, the Pope's daily agenda shows no sign of lightening, and he will be involved in preparations for the opening of universal phase of the synod of bishops in Rome in October 2023, showing that at 86, Pope Francis plans to be just as busy as ever.


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