Born as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis celebrated his 79th birthday on Thursday, 17 December, 2015. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 17. Pope Francis who became Pope on March 13th 2013 is the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic church.
During his Weekly General Audience on Wednesday, thousands of pilgrims who were gathered in St. Peter’s Square sang birthday wishes for His Holiness, also Mexican journalist Valentina Alazraki gave him a birthday cake, in the shape of a Mexican sombrero.
On Thursday, members of the Italian Lay Movement “Azione Cattolica" brought with them a celebratory cake to wish Pope Francis a Happy Birthday. He addressed the youths who were gathered for their annual Christmas audience and thanked them for the cake and well wishes. He went on to bless their commitment to the mission of welcoming migrants and urged them to become missionaries of Christ.
To “journey towards the Lord means to take the good road – not the evil one; it means to put oneself on the road of forgiveness, of peace, of solidarity," Pope Francis told them.
“In this regard, your initiative in favor of Migrants in the Agrigento diocese is a very good one," he added.
In Italy in 1905, Azione Cattolica was established as a non-political lay organization under the direct control of bishops. It was established by Pope Pius X after an earlier similar organization.One of their recent projects includes working with migrants, for which Pope Francis offered prayers and blessings.
“So many brothers and sisters of ours who arrive full of hope, but are also wounded and in desperate need of so much, including peace and bread," the Holy Father noted, asking the movement to continue their contributions to their community and to migrants in need.
Pope Francis urged the youth gathered to be benevolent, saying that they should share with those less fortunate than themselves. He also offered a blessing and greetings to the officials of ‘Azione Cattolica,’ thanking them for their work for the Church.