December 17, 2020
By Gerard O’Connell
Pope Francis celebrates his 84th birthday on Dec. 17, and four days later he will give his traditional (and often challenging) Christmas greeting to the Roman Curia for the eighth successive year.
Soon after his election on March 13, 2013, Francis told close friends that he had the distinct feeling that his would be “a short pontificate”—not more than a few years. Now he knows he was mistaken. Informed sources confirm he is in good health and continues to have the deep inner peace that he first experienced at the time of his election. Vatican officials who meet the pope regularly say there is no conclave on the horizon.
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