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Rome Reports

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Pope blesses Hungarian president, leaders discuss clean water as biggest challenge today

Pope Francis met with Hungarian President János íder for a brief audience at the Vatican. In the moments after their meeting, the president spoke about how the Pope makes his guests feel at home and at ease.   

JíNOS íDER 

President of Hungary 

"During the audience, it can happen that you start to feel a bit tense. But with a gesture, with a smile, he helps you over come this.â? 

During their meeting, the Pope and the president spoke about the importance of access to clean water around the world. The Hungarian head of state said this was one of the biggest challenges of the 21st Century. 

President íder also introduced his family: his wife and four children, as well as a delegation of government ministers. The Central European country has a long Christian tradition, and the president used that time to invite Pope Francis to Hungary to mark an important anniversary. 

JíNOS íDER

President of Hungary

"The date that I proposed was 2016, because it will be the 1700 anniversary of the birth of Saint Martin of Tours. He was born in modern-day Hungary, and he enjoys a great deal of popularity and following in Hungary.â? 

Near the end of the audience, he gave the Pope a Hungarian-language version of the Letters of St. Paul dating from the 1500's, as well as Deco art chalice from the 1920's. The president also gave the Pope a glass container, which symbolically was filled with clean water. Pope Francis then used the water to bless the head of state. 

The Pope in return gave the president a papal medallion, and as usual, asked him and his family to pray for him. 

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