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The true meaning of birthdays, according to Pope Francis

Who doesn’t love birthdays? Not only is it a celebration of your life, it is also a reminder that you have another year to live a life of purpose in accordance to God’s plan. While it is the norm to celebrate with big parties, Pope Francis reminds us that birthdays are events in which we “remember all that God has done for us,” and that “memory is an aspect of life.” 

Also Read: The Pope’s message to Filipinos in his first-ever ‘Simbang Gabi’

In December 2017, at the end of a Mass celebrated in the Vatican, Pope Francis reminded everyone of the true meaning of birthdays. He said that birthdays are not all about the extravagant parties and that it is “a great misfortune to lose the memory of all that God has done for us.”

He then shared that “Every life is different. Every one of us has our own experiences, and the Lord leads us along a different path,” and in order for us to move forward and receive new grace, we must remember our life, “our smallness, our mistakes, and also our sins.”

More than Gift Giving

Birthdays are a perfect time to celebrate life itself—the pain and joy of it. It is also a wonderful time to rethink and reflect; take a look at the things you’ve accomplished and plan to achieve. It is much more than an occasion to receive gifts but a chance to celebrate and give thanks to how well we are fulfilling our calling.

Today, December 17, Pope Francis celebrates his own 83rd birthday. Want to send him your well wishes? Email us at [email protected]!

Text by Mark Baccay. 

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