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Rome Reports

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Six months after papal trip, President of Lithuania visits Pope Francis

The President of Lithuania greeted Pope Francis in this way.

President of Lithuania
“Holy Father, thank you. Thank you for receiving me and thank you very much for the possibility to see you again.”

Thank you very much. It's very kind of you to come here.

As they went to sit down, the pope joked with her. 

 “A little protocol, photo protocol.”

 “I know, I know.”

The 30-minute meeting comes six months after Pope Francis' visit to Lithuania, during his trip to the Baltic States. It was a moment for her to express her appreciation, which she did especially with gifts. 

First was a book on Lithuanian partisans or “Forest Brothers” who fought against the Soviet Union in 1944. 

Second was a blue and white glass statue of an angel. 

Then, the president gave Pope Francis honey, just as she did during her last visit in 2015. 

“This is my honey and here we are waiting for Easter.”

She said Lithuanians traditionally dye real eggs, so this represents their tradition. 

Then, Pope Francis gave her a mosaic made at the Vatican before giving her his Message of Peace which he signed for her. 

 “The Message of Peace from this year.”

He gave his four major works, putting in a special addition in Gaudete et Exaultate. 

 “Near the end, you will find a prayer to St. Thomas More.” “This is the document I signed in Abu Dhabi on Human Fraternity.” 

It was a warm meeting in which bilateral relations and the pope's 2018 visit were discussed. The two also spoke about Lithuania's social and political situation, before speaking about international peace and security, focussing especially on Europe.  

“I'm happy. Pray for me.”

The two warmly said goodbye during one of the president's last visits to the Vatican before her term ends in July.