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President of Portugal invites the Pope to the centennial of apparitions of Fatima

2016-03-17

The meeting began with this warm greeting.

"Mr. President, a pleasure to meet you.”
"A pleasure, a pleasure and an honor.”

Pope Francis held a meeting with the new president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, where they conversed in Spanish. The president invited Pope Francis to the centenary of the Marian apparitions at the Shrine of Fatima.

According to the Vatican, issues such as the respect for human life and the importance of the family were discussed. Portugal passed a less restrictive abortion law and has just given the green light to the adoption by homosexual couples. They also spoke about the situation in the Mediterranean with the refugee crisis.

The president introduced the Pope to his large delegation, it was time for the exchange of gifts.

Rebelo de Sousa handed him a set of brightly colored liturgical designs by Portuguese architect Siza Vieira. He also gave an old image of Saint Anthony of Padua.

Pope Francis gave him an engraved olive branch of peace and explained its meaning.

"One of the functions of a leader is to unite, peace, make peace.”
 
In addition, he presented him with copies of his exhortation Evangelii Gaudium in Portuguese and his encyclical Laudato si'.

And as usual, the Pope said goodbye with this request.

"It was a pleasure and pray for me. I will do so for you.”


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