On Saturday, Pope Francis celebrated his 86th birthday by honouring three persons who labour in the community, including a homeless man who distributes some of the alms he receives to other people living on the streets.
The three received the Mother Teresa Prize from the pope in appreciation of their many acts of compassion. The nun, who passed away in 1997, started the Missionaries of Charity and worked with some of India’s most vulnerable citizens.
The Vatican only used the homeless man’s first name, Gian Piero, and his street name, Wué, to identify him.
The other two recipients were Italian businessman Silvano Pedrollo, who has worked to establish schools and provide clean water to the underprivileged in developing nations, and Franciscan priest Hanna Jallouf, a Syrian who lives and works in his own country.
At a ceremony in the Vatican, Francis presented them with their award, a miniature globe of the world in a cube-shaped frame bearing an image of Mother Teresa holding a child.
The homeless man’s hand was kissed by the pope during the ceremony, and one of the nuns from the Mother Teresa-founded order draped a floral garland around the pope’s neck.