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Saturday, February 22, 2014


Vatican City, 22 February 2014 (VIS) – On Thursday afternoon, in the study of the Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis received in audience Dilma Rousseff, president of Brazil. Ms. Rousseff had travelled to Rome in order to attend today's Consistory, in which Archbishop Orani Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro will be created a cardinal.

The cordial discussions began at around 7.30 p.m., according to a communique from the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., and provided the Pope with the opportunity to express once again his affection and good wishes for the Brazilian people. Following the discussions, in the adjacent room, the Pope greeted the delegation that accompanied the President and gifts were exchanged.

President Rousseff, clearly making reference to the upcoming football World Cup which will soon be held in Brazil, gave the Pope a shirt from the Brazilian team, with the number 10 and signed by Pele with the dedication, “To Pope Francis, with respect and admiration”, and a ball signed by Cristiano Ronaldo, “To Pope Francis, an embrace from your friend Ronaldo”. Fr. Lombardi communicated that the Holy Father asked jokingly if with these gifts, he was invited to pray for Brazil to win the Cup, and the president answered that they asked only for neutrality. The Pope gave as a gift an artistic medallion depicting “The Angel of Peace”.

The meeting ended shortly after 8 p.m.

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