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In his second Papal visit and first with the new Pontiff.

“Wonderful meeting you,” Obama told the Pope upon being greeted outside the Papal Library, following a ceremonial procession led by the Vatican’s Swiss Guards.

“It is a great honor. I’m a great admirer,” Obama said. “Thank you so much for receiving me.”

Barack Obama gave Pope Francis a bag of seeds as a gift, a fitting token as their first-ever meeting provided a fresh start of sorts between the administration and Catholic leadership after years of strained relations.

“These, I think, are carrots,” Obama told the Pontiff, showing him one pouch. The seeds were inside a box made from timber from the first cathedral to open in the United States, in Baltimore.

The two world leaders greeted each other with a smile and a handshake, and posed for pictures before sitting down across a table from each other.

“I bring greetings from my family,” Obama told the Pope upon meeting him. “The last time I came here to meet your predecessor I was able to bring my wife and children.

 

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