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Pope Francis greets children at the end of an audience with children assisted by the Santa Marta dispensary in the Paul VI Hall, at the Vatican, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022.
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Video. Pope pays tribute to Ukraine children on 86th birthday

Pope Francis paid tribute to the children of Ukraine as he celebrated his 86th birthday with young people at the Vatican on Sunday, assisted by the Vatican’s “Santa Marta Pediatric Dispensary" as well as parents and volunteer staff.

Pope Francis paid tribute to the children of Ukraine as he celebrated his 86th birthday with young people at the Vatican on Sunday, assisted by the Vatican’s “Santa Marta Pediatric Dispensary" as well as parents and volunteer staff.

The Pope, who turned 86 on Saturday, was treated to a huge birthday cake, which he allowed the children to taste by plunging their fingers into the icing.

He also watched, and briefly took part in, a circus performance.

In a moment of reflection during the festivities, the Pope said "we must not forget the children from Ukraine."

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