2007-03-23 15:24:06

Irish President Mary McAleese meets with Pope Benedict XVI

(23 Mar 2007) : Ireland’s President Ms Mary McAleese met with Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican on Friday morning. In anticipation of the Holy Father’s 80th birthday on 16th April, Ms McAleese gave the Pontiff her choicest Birthday greetings, to which the Pope in a lighter mood and with laughter said, “There will be many more birthday celebrations to come.” After 35 minutes of private talk in English with the Pontiff, Ms McAleese gifted him with a Waterford crystal crucifix and in return the Pope gave the Irish President a pontifical medal, a rosary and a memento representing St. Peter’s Basilica. Recalling the invitation to the Holy Father to visit Ireland, the Catholic Bishops gave during their Ad-Limina visit to the Vatican in October 2006, Ms McAleese also reiterated the same. After the meeting with the Pope, Ms. McAleese met with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State.

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