• Press conference on the World Meeting of Popular Movements

Pope Francis celebrates Mass with 4 homeless men on his 77th birthday

2013-12-17 Vatican Radio

Pope Francis turned 77 on Tuesday and celebrated Mass in the Santa Marta guesthouse with 4 homeless men, his closest collaborators and staff from the guesthouse, all of whom afterwards greeted him with a birthday song.

Listen to this report by Susy Hodges:

It was Pope Francis’s 77th birthday on Tuesday and those present at his morning Mass included Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State and Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, together with staff from the Santa Marta guesthouse. The congregation also included the Almoner Monsignor Konrad Krajewski who brought with him 4 homeless men who live in the streets around the Vatican. After the Mass, all those present wished the Pope a happy birthday and sang greetings to him before joining him for breakfast in the Vatican guesthouse.

Today’s reading was centered on the genealogy of Jesus and the Pope used this in his homily to reflect on God’s enduring presence in our lives throughout history. He said “God wished to live out His life alongside us” and “took His surname from each of us.”

“God,” the Pope continued, “has always walked alongside His people,” beginning with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He did not want to come to redeem us without coming to live among us and share our lives. The Pope said this long list of God’s people included “saints and sinners.” The latter included “high level sinners who committed serious sins and who didn’t listen” to God’s plans for them.

Pope Francis said in addition to accompanying us in our lives our God follows us and in this way, he displays His humility, His patience and His love for us. He concluded his homily with “a Christmas wish” for all of us “to allow God to write our lives for us.”