Pope Francis leads his Sunday Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Dec. 4, 2016. Reuters

After more than three years at the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis is turning 80 Saturday. The octogenarian has had quite the run. His celebrity regularly draws the praise of followers.

Pope Francis has made waves with a variety of sometimes controversial positions and opinions. He has championed climate change mitigation measures and has been vocal in his pleas for a peaceful resolution to the deadly civil war in Syria. The pope has even suggested that contraception — or at least avoiding pregnancy — could be an acceptable way to fight the spread of Zika virus.

The pope was greeted by well-wishers who performed a pilgrimage to Italy to see the spiritual leader. He reportedly was happy and joked with them when they arrived at the Vatican.

Here are some memorable statements and photos of the Pope.

“God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it.”

Pope Francis
Pope Francis greets faithful as he arrives on the Campus Misericordiae during World Youth Day in Brzegi near Krakow, Poland, July 31, 2016. Reuters/David W Cerny

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge? We shouldn’t marginalize people for this. They must be integrated into society.”

Pope Francis with US actor George Clooney and his wife Amal
Pope Francis meets U.S. actor George Clooney (center) and his wife Amal (left) during a meeting of the Scholas Occurrentes at the Vatican, May 29, 2016. OSSERVATORE ROMANO/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

“A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.”

Pope Francis Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill meeting
Pope Francis leaves at the end of mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Feb. 2, 2016. Reuters/Tony Gentile

“Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: People who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport.”

Popemobile in Philadelphia
Pope Francis waves to the crowd from his popemobile during a parade in Philadelphia, Sept. 27, 2015. Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images

“Life is a journey. When we stop, things don’t go right.”

Pope Francis, New York, Sept. 25, 2015
Pope Francis delivers remarks inside Our Lady Queen of Angels school in the East Harlem neighborhood of the Manhattan borough of New York, Sept. 25, 2015. Stephanie Keith-Pool/Getty Images

“Since many of you do not belong to the Catholic Church and others are nonbelievers, from the bottom of my heart I give this silent blessing to each and every one of you, respecting the conscience of each one of you but knowing that each one of you is a child of God.”

Pope Francis next to Obama
Pope Francis stands next to President Barack Obama during his 2015 visit to the United States. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

“Among us, who is above must be in service of the others. This doesn’t mean we have to wash each other’s feet every day but we must help one another.”