On Wednesday, President Donald Trump, his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka finally visited the Vatican for a much anticipated private audience with Pope Francis. What made the event so significant is the fact that millions of people around the world had been waiting with bated breath for months for the two men (who are said to be total opposites of one another), to finally meet.
Much worldwide anxiety surrounded the prospect of the meeting since President Trump and Pope Francis experienced some tension last year regarding Trump's plans to build a Mexican border wall; now 'casually' referred to worldwide as being the 'famous feud'. Other mild clashes between the pair also ensued over the issues of migration and climate change, which raised concerns regarding how things would pan out during the formal meeting/audience between the holy man and the President.
Read on to see how things turned out and for highlights of events during this historic occasion.
As stated in opening, Wednesday 24 May 2017, marked the affair the world was waiting for; when President Donald Trump met for a private audience with Pope Francis. Although no-one knows exactly what went on 'behind closed doors', the whole 30-minute session appeared to go off smoothly without any tension or hitches.
During the visit/audience, it is reported that Pope Frances handed President Trump a copy of his (the Pope's) 2015 encyclical on climate change.
Once it was time to end the meeting/audience, a bell rang. Melania Trump was then allowed to join the two men.
The Pope then went on to meet the rest of President Trump's family and delegation.
Once the introductions were done, it was time to exchange gifts.
President Trump gave the Pope a gift of books written by Martin Luther King.
The Pope then presented Trump with his gift which was a beautiful medallion created by a Roman artist which contained an olive tree; the symbol of peace. The Pope then explained that it had "two branches and a division of war in the middle."
As per sources, President Trump then responded: "We can use peace." The Pope then said, "It is with all hope that you may become an olive tree to make peace."
The Pope also gave the President his three papal exhortations, which are communications from the Pope to the Church. Trump promised to read these and shook the hand of the holy man. "I won't forget what you said", he exclaimed.
As per The New York Times, the audience between the President and the Pope held in the Vatican capped a tour of the ancestral homes of three of the world's great monotheistic religions for President Trump.
The NY Times goes on to say that, for Pope Francis, the visit was a chance to welcome a second American leader since President Barack Obama had already paid a visit in 2014.
When asked how the event went, President Trump was quoted as saying that,"the meeting had been fantastic" and that it had been "an honor to spend time with 'Him [the Pope]'." President Trump added that Pope Francis "is something [special]."
In a Tweet posted by (President) Donald Trump after leaving the Vatican, he stated that he was now "more determined than ever to pursue PEACE in our world."
According to The New York Times, "[a] Vatican statement said the talks had included a discussion of health care, education and assistance for immigrants, as well as 'the promotion of peace in the world through political negotiation and inter-religious dialogue.'"
It is also reported that although the Pope and current American President have different viewpoints concerning numerous matters, it was found that they do indeed share the same views concerning various matters as well; such as their views/standings regarding abortion.
(Main source of information used: The New York Times)