Pope Francis to Grand Mufti of Istanbul: "Pray for me"
The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I was waiting for the arrival of the Pope at Istanbul's international airport. Pope Francis went directly from the airport to the Blue Mosque, where he meet the Grand Mufti of Istanbul, Rahmi Yaran.
They both shared in one of the most symbolic moments of the Pope's trip to Turkey so far. The two religious leaders, barefoot, prayed together in silence for a few minutes. Following a personal custom, once the prayer was ended, Pope Francis had a request.
"I also want to ask you to pray for me."
Before leaving, the Grand Mufti gave him a replica of one of the images that decorates the mosque.
"The tulip is a very important flower in Turkey, because it represents God."
While exiting the temple, they spoke about the importance of prayer.
"I was saying that the world needs prayer. But sometimes we only pray to ask for help, and I think we need to go further. We have to ask for help and thank God, but also we must praise and worship Him. Praise Him. Praise is free."
Pope Francis is the second Pope to visit the Blue Mosque. Benedict XVI did the same back in 2006.