Pope Francis Blows out Birthday Candle on Extra-Long Pizza - NECN
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Pope Francis Blows out Birthday Candle on Extra-Long Pizza



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    A girl had the chance to get up close and personal with Pope Francis on March 22 and used the opportunity to grab his skullcap right off his head. (Published Wednesday, March 22, 2017)

    Pope Francis has blown out his birthday candle on an extra-long pizza at the Vatican to the delight of children.

    Francis, who turned 81 on Sunday, then told the children, who use a Vatican health service, to "eat all four meters (13 feet)" saying it will make them grow.

    Later, thousands of children in St. Peter's Square shouted birthday wishes to Francis. He replied from his window overlooking the square: "Thanks a lot, thanks a lot." His birthday coincided with his weekly Sunday appearance to faithful.

    Pizza for parties in Italy is often baked in long form, instead of round pies, which are meant instead for individual portions. At the Vatican, rectangular-shaped pieces of pizza were stretched end-to-end on a table and a tall, white candle stuck in the middle.

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    In his last mass of the year on Dec. 31, 2016, Pope Francis called on the faithful to help young people find a purpose in the world, noting cultures that idolize youth while depriving them of "dignified and genuine work."
    (Published Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016)