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Pope meets with Guatemala president, last official visit by head of state

2013-02-16

Other topics included immigration, the role of the Church in Guatemalan society, and, of course, the Pope's decision to resign. 


OTTO PEREZ MOLINA 
President of Guatemala 
"I saw the Holy Father with much clarity, with lots of conviction, responsibility and very firm on his decision he took.” 

The Guatemalan leader also said the Pope seemed joyful and in good health during their meeting. He recalled that the only moments of frailty were when he walked. But he described it as natural, given his age. 

Since Benedict XVI will step down on February 28, President Molina was the last visiting head of state to meet with him for an official visit. 

OTTO PEREZ MOLINA 
President of Guatemala
"I told him that we understand, and greatly value his virtues, his humility and his responsibility to guide the Church, and that we support the decision he has taken.” 

Near the end of their audience, the Central American executive gave him three gifts. The firs, a hand made statue of Our Lady of the Rosary, the patroness of Guatemala, a book with Catholic stamps. 

OTTO PEREZ MOLINA 
President of Guatemala 
"Green jade is also from Guatemala, it's a precious stone, and was also worked by Guatemalan artists.” 

Perhaps, the most unique gift was this rosary carved out of jade, the semi-precious stone greatly valued by the ancient Mayans. 

In exchange, the Pope gave him a medal of his pontificate, as well as a sketch of the St. Peter's Square before it's completion. 

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