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8 Last minute gifts you might want to get Pope Francis on his birthday!

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Pope Francis smiling

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Cerith Gardiner - published on 12/15/22

With the pontiff turning 86, here's a look at some of his favorite things.

Pope Francis will be turning 86 this weekend, on December 17. An impressive age for anybody to reach, let alone someone who has the most important job in the world.

So to celebrate this big occasion we thought we’d come up with a list of his favorite things that would make the perfect gift — although be prepared, a couple of these items might break the bank!

Pope Francis likes to have a jellied fruit called Membrillo for breakfast. The paste-like sweet treat is made from quince and is popular in his native Argentina.


As the pope has a sweet tooth, he is particularly fond of this Argentinian cookie that is filled with dulce de leche and coated in chocolate.

Soccer jersey

The pontiff is a big fan of the soccer club San Lorenzo. While he doesn’t watch the sport on TV, he does read up on it in the press. Although it’s hard to imagine a pope donning a soccer jersey, a true fan will certainly find a place for one, even if it’s on the back of a chair.

A good book

A good book is always a great gift. However, what do you a buy for a pope who has access to a very impressive library? Well, Francis has shared that he’s read The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni a number of times. He’s also said he’s a fan of Russian author Dostoevsky.


Pope Francis has spoken of his favorite movie — La Strada by Fellini, saying he can see himself in it. He also likes the Danish film Babette’s Feast for its beautiful message of love, mercy and sacrifice. Of course, there’s a great possibility that the pope has this movie already, so a good gift might be to watch it yourself and learn from its messages.

A special tune

The Holy Father enjoys a large repertoire of music but is partial to a little Mozart. He also really appreciates a tango and milonga. While his health might keep him from partaking in any dance moves, it’s lovely to think of him nodding off for one of his naps listening to a favorite tune.

And now for that extra special gift

Pope Francis does have pretty expensive taste in works of art. He particularly likes the works of Caravaggio, as they “speak to him,” and once more allow him to reflect on his own life. The Calling of St Matthew is just one piece that he identifies with, saying it reminds him of his own calling as a bishop and the Bishop of Rome.

The pope also likes the works of the Jewish Russian painter Marc Chagall. As with Caravaggio, the artist’s religious pieces, such as White Crucifixion — which speaks of the devastating pogrom, Kristallnacht — have made an impression on Francis.

The only issue is these paintings are not for sale, and if they were, they would set you back a pretty penny!

A prayer

This is perhaps the gift the octogenarian would appreciate the most. A simple prayer offering our love and support for Pope Francis and the Catholic Church.

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