Peace Lab founder Fr Dionysius Mintoff received personal greetings from Pope Francis on the occasion of his 90th birthday. 

The Franciscan priest, who celebrated his 90th birthday on April 1, received a handwritten note from the Pope thanking him for his decades-long ministry within the Church. 

“Dear father, I have just found out that the day before yesterday you turned 90! I send you my best wishes,” the note reads. 

The Pope asked Fr Mintoff to pray for him and wished him a blessed Easter, signing off with “fraternally yours, Francesco”. 

The letter sent by Pope Francis. Photo: Vatican NewsThe letter sent by Pope Francis. Photo: Vatican News

Founded in 1971, the Pope John XXIII Peace Laboratory in Ħal Far, which Fr Mintoff runs, is a voluntary organisation that houses and feeds a number of adult asylum seekers and runs programmes to aid education and employment opportunities among the migrant community. 

In 2019, Fr Mintoff was nominated for the Felix Houphouet-Boigny-Unesco Peace Prize, which is awarded to living individuals and active public or private bodies or institutions that have made a significant contribution to promoting, seeking, safeguarding or maintaining peace in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitution of Unesco.

In 2019 Fr Mintoff also received the Award for Active Ageing in recognition for his ongoing efforts at the Peace Lab, which remain undeterred by his age. 

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