Vatican: A group of chefs surprised Pope Francis with the gift of a large birthday cake on 14 December 2016, in a view to His upcoming 80th birthday on 17 December 2016. The Pope gave thanks to all those who had wished him a happy birthday in advance and said: “I would like to tell you something that will make you laugh. In my country, to congratulate in advance brings bad luck and is a ‘gaffe’.”
According to his staff, Pope Francis will be working “just as normal” on the day itself. He will receive the President of Malta in an audience and will later meet with the Perfect of the Congregation of Bishops, Cardinal Marc Oullet, as well as other guests and dignitaries. He will also celebrate Mass along with Cardinals who live and work in Rome at the Pauline Chapel on Saturday.
Seven new Vatican email addresses have been created, to allow well wishers to leave Birthday messages for the Pope. Messages can be left in Italian, English (PopeFrancis80@vatican.va), French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Polish and Latin.