President Obama Sends Best Wishes to Pope Francis

The President and Pope Francis conclude their meeting/Credit: Official White House

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Washington, DC – President Barack Obama in a statement wished Pope Francis as the Pontiff celebrated his 80th birthday on Saturday by sharing breakfast with eight homeless people inside the Vatican.

According to the Vatican, the homeless people, including six men and two women, came from the area of St. Peter’s Basilica. They hailed from across the world — four from Italy, two from Romania and one each from Moldova and Peru.

The pontiff offered the guests sweets from his native Argentina during the meal, which also featured pastries, meats, Nutella and orange juice.

In his statement President Obama said, “I join the American people in extending our best wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis. In both word and deed, Pope Francis has inspired people around the world with his message of compassion, hope, and peace. He has called on us to see ourselves in one another, reach out to those who are at the margins of society, extend mercy, and care for the planet we all share.”

Mentioning the role played by the Pope in normalization of US-Cuba relations, President Obama said, “It was my great honor to welcome His Holiness to the White House last year and to work together on common causes. I remain especially grateful for his invaluable support for our work to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, which I announced on December 17 two years ago. Guided by his humble example, may the people of the world move forward together toward true justice and peace for all God’s children.”

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis was spending his day working “just as normal.”

Born on December 17, 1936, Pope Francis was spending the day at meetings, Masses and the reception of the President of Malta.

Pope Francis’ birthday is currently being promoted on social media with the hashtag #Pontifex80

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