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Pope meets with Colombia's President, Juan Manuel Santos

2013-05-13

"The mayor of Medellin”

POPE FRANCIS
"I met you the other day.”

" Could you please bless me?”


As a gift, president Santos gave him two typical items from Colombia, including the book 'One Hundred Years of Solitude,' by Nobel Prize Winner Gabriel García Márquez and also a handmade image of the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus.

"Our laureate, García Márquez. It is the only book with this unique artistic illustration.”


In exchange the Pope gave the president three engraved images of the Vatican.

After the meeting, the Colombian President met with the press in the nearby street of Via della Conciliazione, as many onlookers stopped to take a look.  He said they talked about how both States are working to achieve peace in Colombia.

JUAN MANUEL SANTOS
Colombian President

"We spoke about peace. About the need to be victorious in the pursuit of peace. The Holy Father told me 'Only the brave insist that these type of goals be accomplished.  They come at a cost, but they are worthwhile'”

The President also invited the Pope to visit Colombia. But the  Pope told him that at least this year, he only expects to visit Brazil during World Youth Day.

JUAN MANUEL SANTOS
Colombian President

"He has to chose the countries he visits very carefully. Being from Latin American I think he's inclined to visit that part of the world, which I perfectly understand. He also told me he likes to travel a lot. So at least for now, his only scheduled trip to Latin America will be to Brazil.”

Given the fact that the Pope is a big soccer fan, both leaders also talked about Argentina's San Lorenzo team.

JUAN MANUEL SANTOS
Colombian President

"He reminded me that he is a San Lorenzo fan. I told him about the two Colombian stars, Córdoba and 'Cayman' Sanchez who were San Lorenzo players. The conversation was great. It was very exciting.”

Towards the end of their meeting, the Pope encouraged the President to promote a spirit of peace and unity in Colombia.

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