-How are you? -Fine?
-Fine, thank you. Thank you for having me. It is an honor for me.
Pope Francis received the new Metropolitan Patriarch of Moscow, Antonij of Volokolamsk, in the Apostolic Palace. He gave the Pope an icon of St. Seraphim, which the Pope has a great devotion to.
-I have a relic of St. Seraphim in my bedroom.
-On August 1, we celebrate the memorial of St. Seraphim and that is why I brought you this icon.
For his part, Pope Francis gave him an engraving of the Vatican gardens. Before saying goodbye to the Metropolitan and asked him to pray for him.
-Thank you, God bless you.
-Thank you, thank you, Holy Father.
-Pray for me, do not forget.
The Metropolitan Patriarch of Moscow is the equivalent of the Russian Orthodox Church's Foreign Minister. Since June, Antonij of Volokolamsk has replaced Metropolitan Hilarion in the role, who was known for his open nature.
This meeting between the Pope and the Metropolitan of Moscow took place in the lead up to Pope Francis' trip to Kazakhstan in September. There, he is expected to meet with Patriarch Kirill, the current head of the Russian Orthodox Church.