2016-12-14 12:11:00

Pope Francis to pilgrims: thanks for birthday wishes

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis offered thanks for the many well-wishes he has received ahead of his 80th birthday this coming Saturday.

Speaking to Italian pilgrims after the main catechetical portion of the weekly General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis departed from his prepared greetings to say, “I thank you all for your well-wishes for my upcoming birthday,” he said, adding again, “many thanks!” The Holy Father went on to tease the crowd, saying, “Those, who offer birthday congratulations ahead of time, are jinxes!”

The Holy Father in his greetings also  offered thanks to the pilgrims representing participants in the “Oeration Safe Roads” initiative during the recently concluded Jubilee Year of Mercy, as well as a group of faithful from Petrignano d’Assisi, who brought the Pope a gift of an artistic Christmas crèche.

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