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Pope given early birthday cake

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Pope Francis blows a candle on a cake that was presented to him by children (AP)

Pope Francis blows a candle on a cake that was presented to him by children (AP)

A picture of the pope is composed by children using boxes (AP)

A picture of the pope is composed by children using boxes (AP)

A child takes off Pope Francis' white skull cap (AP)

A child takes off Pope Francis' white skull cap (AP)

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Pope Francis blows a candle on a cake that was presented to him by children (AP)

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 after the pope visited a Vatican dispensary which provides paediatric 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, nappies, toys and even baby carriages to families in need.


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