Pope Francis’ 77th birthday was celebrated with four homeless men at the Vatican on Tuesday. TIME‘s Person of the Year continued his work in helping the world reimagine what the Pope can be.
The Pope invited the homeless men over for breakfast. Pope Francis, who chooses to live in the guest quarters of the Vatican rather than the elaborate papal suite, was on his way to morning mass. Four homeless men who live around the Vatican were invited to join the Pope and stay afterwards for breakfast. They accepted the invitation.
One of the men even brought his dog along for the meal. Though no important celebrities attended his birthday breakfast, he did invite his household help to join the homeless men for breakfast.
The humble and down to earth Pope has been making headlines all year with his approaches to poverty, social media, and willingness to be among the people. There has been a resurgence of interest in the Roman Catholic church and almost all of the attention is due to the new Pope.
It would seem that he is unconcerned with his public image, which may be what makes him so intriguing. In a world where celebrity status comes and goes as fast as Facebook changes its settings, this Pope seems disinterested in becoming a celebrity. So he invites the poor, homeless, and servants to have breakfast on his birthday.
Instead of elaborate gifts and a big birthday party, Pope Francis would rather spend time in a children’s home and blow out candles on a birthday cake as he did on Saturday. Instead of inviting President Obama over for dinner, he wants to invite his favorite Argentine soccer (football) team, San Lorenzo. And they will be joining the Pope in honor of his birthday.
In his homily (sermon) during his birthday mass, Pope Francis summed up his feelings about what he values most when it comes time for him to be remembered.
“Let the Lord write our history,” he said. It would seem that the Pope is more concerned about what his Lord thinks than what others might say about him on his birthday.