(Editor’s note: Each year students are invited to write a letter to the pope congratulating him on his birthday. The schools send the letters to Bishop Edward K. Braxton who chooses a letter to send to the pope. This year, a student from Holy Childhood Catholic School in Mascoutah was selected. Following is the letter that was sent from the Diocese of Belleville to Pope Francis this year.)
Dear Pope Francis,
Hello, my name is Nicholas. I am a seventh-grader and I attend a private Catholic school in Mascoutah, Illinois. I send with this letter, my wishes to you for a very happy birthday.
When I learned of the many different things you have achieved I knew the Lord had chosen a good man to lead us in difficult times. You are a role model for me and my fellow peers.
We learned of you in class one day and I could not stop thinking of your achievements. I wanted to know how you manage to be such a good Pope. I admire you for being the first South American Pope.
I think highly of you because you love children and the elderly. I know the Lord is with you by your acts and the words speak.
You are my hero. You are an excellent example of loving all of God’s creation. I look at your ‘’tweets’’ and find faith in your inspiring words. One of my goals is to imitate you in my faith. I do not think God could have picked a better man for the position.