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Rome Reports

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Cuban leader, Raúl Castro asks Pope to pray for him

On Sunday morning, at 9.30 a.m. Cuban leader, Raul Castro visited Pope Francis in the Vatican. ; Welcome. Thank you. It's an honor. To have a frank discussion, Pope Francis started off with removing all obstacles including two giants pens. ; All in all, their meeting lasted 55 minutes. ; Throughout the visit, the Cuban president thanked the Pope for helping ease the ties between the U.S and Cuba. He also said, the island is looking forward to his visit in the month of September. ; As a gift, Castro gave the Pope one of 25 silver medals minted to mark 200 years of Havana's Cathedral. ; In light of the Pope's support towards immigrants, Castro also gave him this painting with cross shaped boats, and an immigrant praying before them. ; In return, the Pope gave him a medallion of St. Martin. A saint who is traditionally known for offering his coat to the needy. An example the Pope wished to emphasize. ; This is how their conversation concluded: ; Pray for me You, please pray for me. ; I do. ; A unique request from the head of one of the oldest communist regimes to date. ; Once he left the Vatican, Castro had this to say to the press: ; I am very happy. I came to thank the Pope for what he has done to begin to solve problems between the U.S and Cuba. ; In the coming weeks, the Vatican is expected to publish the Pope's schedule during his visit to Cuba in September. What is known is that he will fly from Havana to Washington. ; JMB/KLH ; CTV-RR JM BN Up: JMB