Thousands of dancers have gathered outside St. Peter's Square for a special tango performance on Pope Francis' birthday. The pontiff turned 78 today.
Tango dancers assembled at St. Peter's square in the Vatican on the occasion of Pope Francis' 78th birthday. Tango is the national dance of Argentina, where the church's topmost pontiff was born as Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
Dancing began around midday. Cristina Carmorani, the organizer of the flash mob cried, "Happy Birthday, Pope Francis! Let's widen out this circle."
"I love it, it is stronger than me," said the Pope, who is also known to be an accomplished dancer.
"The idea of meeting up at the Vatican to dance tango in his honor came to me for fun. We are a group of friends, we know that the pope loves this music and we wanted to pay tribute to him," said Camorani, a dance teacher from Conventello in northeastern Italy.
The dancer launched a Facebook initiative called "Tango for Francis," asking couples to come and dance at the Pope's birthday.
The 3,000 dancers who signed up for the flash mob were part of the pope's weekly audience of about 13,000.
Those who couldn't dance brought cake and mate, a traditional drink from Argentina. Spanish farmers sent 800 kilograms of chicken to be distributed to the poor through the Vatican's kitchens.
The head of the Catholic Church also issued a condemnation of recent acts of terror in Pakistan, Australia and Yemen.
mg/sb (dpa, AFP)