VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - DECEMBER 17: Pope Francis delivers his Sunday Angelus blessing in St. Peter's Square on December 17, 2017 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Francis today turns 81 years old. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Franco Origlia—Getty Images
By Melissa Locker
December 18, 2017

Every elementary school student knows that it’s only polite to invite your entire class to your birthday party, but what do you do when you’re the Pope? You gather up a group of children and invite them all to a pizza party.

Pope Francis, who turned 81 on Sunday, celebrated his birthday with a 13-foot long pizza with a candle stuck in the middle, according to the Associated Press. Since the Pope probably can’t eat 13 feet of pizza (or shouldn’t anyway, what with gluttony being a mortal sin and all) he invited a group of children who attend a Vatican pediatric clinic to share in the fun and the feast.

After blowing out the candle, he told the children that it was his birthday wish to watch them dive and “eat all four meters” because it would make them grow. Francis is known for his love of a good pizza, telling TIME back in 2015 that the only drawback to being the leader of the Catholic Church is that he can’t slip out to a pizzeria for a slice.

Later, Pope Francis made his weekly appearance in front of the crowd packed into St. Peter’s Square. There, thousands of children shouted birthday wishes to him, too. No word on whether he had any pizza sauce on his robes.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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