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Francis jokes about indigestion with enormous birthday cake

Vincenzo Pinto | AFP

Francis marks his 82nd birthday with doctors, nurses and families benefited by the Santa Marta health care facility for the poor

“I hope we don’t have indigestion with such a big cake!” Pope Francis joked Sunday as he celebrated his 82nd birthday (December 17) with health care providers and families assisted at the Santa Marta Dispensary.

Based just a stone’s throw away from the pope’s residence inside the Vatican, this facility was established in 1922 by Pope Pius XI.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI visited it in 2005.

Some 800 people, including volunteers, doctors, nurses and families assisted by the Dispensary, joined Pope Francis on Sunday in Paul VI Hall for the festivities.

In words of thanks to those gathered, the pope said that if Our Lady had lived in Rome she would have surely taken Jesus to this dispensary.

The pope noted that “working with children is not easy, but it teaches us a lot.”

“It teaches me one thing: that in order to understand the reality of life, you have to lower yourself, as we lower ourselves to kiss a child. They teach us this. The proud, the proud cannot understand life, because they are not able to lower themselves.”

“All of us,” Pope Francis continued, “professionals, organizers, nuns, all – give many things to children, but they give us this announcement, this teaching: to lower oneself. Lower yourself, be humble, and in this way you will learn to understand life and people. And all of you have this ability to lower yourselves. Thank you so much for this, thank you so much!”

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