Pope Francis adjusts his white zucchetto, or skullcap, after a child took it off during a meeting with children and volunteers of the Santa Marta Vatican Institute, at the Vatican, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has received a candle-topped birthday cake three days early — a surprise from children at the Vatican.
The pontiff turns 77 on Tuesday. The children presented the treat on Saturday after the pope visited a Vatican dispensary which provides pediatric care.
Francis blew out the candles, thanked the youngsters for the cake and promised: “I’ll tell you later if it’s good or not.”
At one point, Francis briefly lost his white skull cap to a child he was holding. The pope smiled and put it back on his head.
For more than 90 years, the dispensary on the Vatican grounds has been distributing milk, clothing, diapers, toys and even baby carriages to families in need.