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Rome Reports

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Lukashenko invites Pope Francis to Belarus

On Saturday morning, Pope Francis met with the President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko. The Pope was even introduced to Nikolai, the presidents youngest son.  "He was very little when he met Benedict. And now you see how he has grown-up.â? On April 27, 2009, the president brought his son to the Apostolic Palace to meet with Pope Benedict XVI. That was almost seven years ago.  Both leaders spoke about the Minsk agreement among other important topics related to peacemaking and the co-existence between Catholic and Orthodox communities.  Before leaving, President Lukashenko gave Pope Francis several gifts: An icon, a cross and a model of a carriage made from homemade pasta. The Pope reciprocated the gift offering by giving the president copies of "Laudato Si," Evangelii Gaudium and Amoris Laetitia. As he usually does, Pope Francis asked the president to pray for him and then shared some warm words with his son, Nikolai.  "Thank you and pray for me.â? "It's a pleasure to meet you.â? YA CTV VM PR Up: MB