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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis praises Irish president: One of the wise men of today

The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, met with Pope Francis for the third meeting between the two. 

-How good to see you.

Together they discussed migration, the environment, and how the pandemic will affect the future of Europe. 

The president's wife, Sabina, was particularly moved by the visit. 

As a gift, the President gave Pope Francis a traditional fisherman's stick from one of Ireland's western islands. 

-"Bata Iascaire", we say in Irish.

The Pope gave him this mosaic of a man and a woman tending the earth, along with his message of peace and the significant texts of his pontificate. 

Pope Francis then expressed his gratitude for the visit and for President Higgins' work in Ireland. 

"I would like to thank you all, and to thank the president for his visit. I would like to say to all of you that it is not only the President that has come to visit me, but a wise man. One of the wise men of today. I thank God that Ireland has such a wise man at its head."

The two parted with a heartfelt goodbye, in which the President assured the Pope of his prayers. 

-Thank you so much, for everything.
-Pray for me.
-Every day.

President Higgins then met with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to discuss, ways to strengthen the peace process in Ireland, among other topics.