Historic Meeting of World Leaders

What do you give as a housewarming gift to the Pope who has everything? President Barack Obama paid a visit to the Vatican today, giving Pope Francis a gift of fruit and vegetable seeds from the White House garden. The seeds were presented in a chest made from reclaimed wood from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Baltimore.

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

In return, His Holiness gave the President two medallions, symbolizing solidarity and peace, and a copy of “The Joy of the Gospel.” The leaders’ discussion reportedly focused on issues of conflict and peace around the world, and on how to help poor and marginalized members of society. More controversial topics were seemingly avoided in favor of bigger-picture, global themes. Obama was thrilled to meet His Holiness, calling the meeting a “great honor” and himself a “great admirer” of the Pope.


(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)


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