WION Web Team Vatican City
Dec 17, 2017, 02.31 PM
Pope Francis celebrated his 81st birthday on Sunday with a massive crowd who gathered around the Saint Peter's Square and sang happy birthday.
The celebration took place on Sunday morning where twenty-five thousand children and pilgrims from many lands came to wish him, children carried balloons and bought statues of the infant Jesus for him to bless, as per Roman traditions.
The celebrations were followed by lunch and cake cutting ceremony.
Pope Francis looking at children holding balloons shaped in the number 81 (AFP)
The cake was made by Mauro Pallotta, famously known as MauPal - who is an Italian graffiti artist.
The cake is designed with a picture of the pope carrying the world on his shoulders.
The pear and cinnamon delight shows Francis in his white cassock, holding up with one hand the world, which is divided in two but stitched back together - a symbol of the pope's unifying force, Rome pastry maker Hedera said.
The cake is decorated with a drawing of Italian street artist Mauro Pallotta a.k.a Maupal (AFP)
"Be always joyful, even when things don't go as we wish they would," the pope said during the Angelus prayer.
"When children see problems at home, parents that fight, they suffer. Don't make them sad. They must always grow up with joy," he said as he met disadvantaged youngsters looked after by a Vatican foundation.
The pope's birthday this year falls on Gaudete Sunday, which the church marks as a moment of particular joy as celebrations for the birth of Jesus Christ approach.