Pope Francis celebrates 86th birthday by honoring 3 charitable givers

On the day of his 86th birthday, Pope Francis presents an expression of his gratitude to three people who offer their lives for the poorest of the poor.

By Devin Watkins

In keeping with his constant care for others, Pope Francis has chosen to celebrate his 86th birthday on Saturday by honoring three people who “live charity on behalf of the poorest of the poor.”

The Pope offers Fr. Hanna Jallouf, Gian Piero (known as Wué), and Silvano Pedrollo an expression of his gratitude for their charitable efforts for others.

According to a press release from the Dicastery for the Service of Charity, the gesture seeks to recall that “each of us is called” to give ourselves in service to others.

On Saturday, Pope Francis visits a dormitory in Rome run by the Missionaries of Charity to present his “flower of gratitude” to the three men.

More on the three recipients

Fr. Jallouf is a Franciscan priest who has spent his life serving the poor throughout Syria’s devastating civil war.

Gian Piero is a homeless man who gives a portion of the alms he receives each day to those who are worse off than him.

Mr. Pedrollo is a businessman from the Italian city of Verona who uses a large part of his business’ profits to help the poor in several African and Latin American nations, as well as in India, to build schools, wells, and healthcare facilities.

‘Windows of love open onto the world’

During the event on Saturday, Pope Francis presents each charitable giver with a small globe fixed inside a cube that acts as a pedestal.

The cube is a “symbol of the love that upholds the world,” and a window is depicted on the globe showing Mother Teresa embracing a child.

The idea for the window came from a remark made by Pope St. John Paul II upon the death of Mother Teresa: "Mother Teresa was an open window from which Jesus looked out and smiled and gave comfort and dignity to so many poor people in so many parts of the world."

According to the Dicastery for the Service of Charity, each person is called to be that window, as the Pope’s birthday gesture to these three men of charity shows.

Listen to our report

Thank you for reading our article. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to our daily newsletter. Just click here

17 December 2022, 08:00