By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer
On Thursday, USA President Barack Obama met with Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church. They discussed helping the poor, among other issues, during their 52-minute-long meeting at the Catholic headquarters in the Vatican. The visit was part of a 3-day and four-country trip to build support in Europe against Russia’s aggression in the Ukraine.
Because the Pope is opening the gardens at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo to the public, Obama gifted him with a chest filled with fruit and vegetable seeds used in the White House Garden. The beautiful seed chest, which was inscribed with the date of their meeting, was made of custom leather and wood from one of the oldest Catholic cathedrals in the US, Baltimore’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Obama’s visit marks the ninth time a USA president has made an official Vatican visit, and he reflected ahead of time on “their shared commitment to fighting poverty and income inequality.” The USA’s highest level diplomat, Secretary of State John Kerry (who’s a Catholic), said he’s a great admirer of what the Pope’s been doing with the church.
Featured image courtesy of the White House.