On the eve of the most important canonization ceremony in years, Pope Francis made time to meet with several world leaders. As usual, his humor broke the ice.
"It's a protocol torture session.”
The Pope met for almost half an hour with Juan Orlando Hernandez Alvarado, the president of Honduras. He joked with him after meeting the president's three daughters, and then his son.
"At least you had one boy.”
Afterward, he welcomed Belgium's royals, Albert II and Paola.
"Thank you. It's an honor to visit you.”
The royal couple, which abdicated the throne last year, were unable to hide their excitement.
"Pray for me, and I will take the liberty to pray for you and your family.”
The Pope's next meeting was with Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Ukrainian prime minister.
He gave the Pope a photo of the pro-Western protesters at Maidan Square in Kiev. Pope Francis gave him pen.
"I hope that with this pen you will be able to sign a peace accord.”
The last meeting on the Pope's schedule was with Polish President Bronisaw Komorowski, who beamed with pride at the upcoming canonization.
Joining him during their brief audience, was a close friend of John Paul II, electrician and Solidarnosc founder, Lech Walesa.