Pope Francis meets with French President, Emmanuel Macron, during his journey to Marseille.
By Vatican News
On Saturday 23 September, Pope Francis met twice with the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron.
In a first, brief encounter, the two leaders greeted each other on the front terrace of the auditorium under the Palais du Pharo in Marseille, where the Pope participated in the concluding session of the Rencontres Méditerranéennes. They then met privately in the Salon d’honneur du Maire. Together with President Macron welcoming the Holy Father to the southern port city chosen as the destination of his 44th Apostolic Journey abroad, was his wife, Brigitte.
Macron was seated in the front row of the large hall where the Pope delivered his speech at the close of the Rencontres Méditerranéennes (Mediterranean Encounters), at the end of which the Pontiff quoted an anecdote about the President: “Once the president invited me to visit France and he told me, ‘the important thing is that you come to Marseille’.”
According to a statement by the Holy See Press Office, after an official photo, “a private conversation took place, followed by the presentation of the President’s family and the exchange of gifts”. At the same time, reads the statement, in a room nearby, “a short meeting took place between Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Madame Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne”. Present at this meeting were also the Deputy Secretary of State Edgar Peña Parra; the Apostolic Nuncio to France, Titular Archbishop of Canosa, His Excellency Archbishop Celestino Migliore; and a Nunciature Councillor.
“At the end of the meeting with the President of the Republic, the Holy Father returned by car to the Archbishop’s residence where he had lunch in private”.