The Pope turns 85 and celebrated it with refugees

The Papa turns 85 this Friday. On his birthday Francisco had a meeting, as a celebration, with a group of African and Asian refugees that came from Cyprus. Too received numerous greetings of world leaders and figures, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and former vice president and Italian right-wing reference Matteo Salvini.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, born in Buenos Aires in 1936 and elected Pope on March 13, 2013. Then he became the head of the Church number 266 and this Friday became part of the list of the 10 longest-lived in history.

At the moment, the oldest pope in history is Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci, elected in 1878 as Leo XIII, who lasted in office until his death, at 93 years and 140 days.

A birthday with refugees

After Roman noon, he received African and Asian refugees who arrived in Rome from Cyprus last night, as part of the first group of people to be relocated to Italy with the support of the Holy See.

The initiative promoted by Francis himself foresees that up to 50 people from countries such as Syria and Cameroon can arrive in Italy safely to start a new life.

With the gesture of celebrating with the refugees, Bergoglio seeks to draw the attention of European countries, given the refusal of some northern states of the continent to accept people who arrive in countries such as Greece, Cyprus and Italy.

The operation for the arrival of these 50 people from Cyprus, funded by the Vatican at the initiative of the Pope, has the logistics organization of the Catholic community of Sant’Egidio, a group close to the Holy See that already manages the “humanitarian corridors” from Lebanon and Eritrea for the arrival of migrants.

The Pope did not change his usual schedule

As on his previous eight birthdays inside the Vatican, Francis decided to keep his schedule as normal. Before the meeting with the refugees, the Pope participated early this Friday in a prayer on the occasion of the approach of Christmas known in the Catholic tradition as “Advent Preaching”, led by the Capuchin preacher Raniero Cantalamessa.

The Pope also received in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican the credentials of the ambassadors of Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Namibia, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Chad and Guinea Bisseau.

In his meeting with diplomats, he reiterated his concern about the pandemic and stated that “it is important that the international community intensify cooperation efforts so that all people have quick access to vaccines” since “it is not a matter of convenience. or courtesy, it’s a question of justice. “

Then, in the Private Library on the second floor of the Apostolic Palace, Francisco met with the head of the Congregation for Oriental Churches, Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri; with the head of the Dicastery for Evangelization, Philippine Cardinal Luis Tagle; and from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Spanish cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer.

Greetings to Francisco

Russian president Vladimir Putin was one of the first to greet Bergoglio. Through a statement, he stressed that the Pope “dedicated his entire life to promoting high spiritual and moral values” while “having made an invaluable contribution to the development of relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church and to the strengthening of the ties between Russia and the Vatican. “

In Italy, the first leaders to greet him on his birthday were the president of Fuerza Italia, Antonio Tajani, and the former mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi. Even the right-wing leader Matteo Salvini, leader of the League, highlighted with a message on Twitter to Francisco as “a wise and precious leadership in a difficult moment for Italy and the world” when greeting him on his birthday.


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