What’s on the pope’s birthday wish list?

Update: Check out the online photo album the Vatican Internet office created for the pope’s birthday.

VATICAN CITY — Don’t know what to give the pope for his 77th birthday tomorrow?

Pope prays as he leads Marian prayer service near Spanish Steps in Rome

Pope Francis praying during a Marian prayer service near the Spanish Steps in Rome Dec. 8. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Why not the very thing he always asks for at almost every public and private audience: “Pray for me!

One Catholic youth association will be doing just that.

The Papaboys Association has invited people worldwide to pray for the pope from their parishes or homes during a “prayer marathon” starting at midnight tonight and running until midnight tomorrow.

In launching the #AuguriFrancesco birthday initiative, the Papaboys are asking people in Rome to come to the church of San Lorenzo in Piscibus near the Vatican for round-the-clock prayers, Eucharistic Adoration and two Masses, or to join in with their prayers wherever they are.

Speaking of San Lorenzo… the pope definitely had something nice to wake up to this morning when he heard his favorite soccer team, San Lorenzo, won the Argentina league title. According to the Vatican, he said “What joy!” upon hearing the news.

Some news reports are saying some of the team’s owners and players are going to the Vatican to show the pope the winner’s cup.

Also, don’t forget the Vatican is collecting video prayers and greetings on Vine and Instagram for Pope Francis for Christmas.

And a papal fan in the UK is collecting scanned or photographed images of children’s drawings and greetings for Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict.

Vatican insiders are saying the papal mailbags are bursting with “thousands” of letters. So if you’d like to add to the deluge…

Pope Francis

Domus Sanctae Marthae

00120 Vatican City State


Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Mater Ecclesiae monastery

00120 Vatican City State