The Pope met with the people who keep St. Peter's Square safe.
It's the Italian police force that works with the Vatican Gendarmerie to provide security in St. Peter's Basilica and the surrounding area.
This is a task, which over the last two years, has become even more complicated because of the pandemic.
Pope Francis thanked them for their efforts to maintain order in a respectful way during the health crisis.
'In these months marked by the pandemic, you have managed to carry out your work well, balancing health regulations and public security norms with the demands of pilgrims. It is also thanks to your professionalism that life around these sacred places and Vatican City has carried on in peace.'
This police force is also responsible for the Pope's safety during his pastoral visits or personal excursions in Italy, like when he recently went to a record store in Rome.
'I would also like to remember your diligent cooperation during my outings in Rome and my pastoral visits in Italy. I am also grateful for your style: your presence is discreet and, at the same time, efficient.'
Pope Francis normally stands to individually greet those present. Before doing so, he apologized for the pain in his knee, saying that he would possibly need to sit down while greeting them.