Photo: Pope Francis Meets with Prime Minister Rajoy
Pope Francis had a private audience Monday with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, with the two men speaking alone for 24 minutes.
Francis received Rajoy in the Private Library, the two exchanged greetings and then sat face to face.
The Spanish leader told the pope he attended the 2006 World Meeting of the Families in Valencia with his then 1-year-old son.
The doors of the library closed and the two men continued their meeting in private.
Rajoy’s wife, Elvira Fernandez, and the rest of his delegation entered the library once the audience was over.
The prime minister presented the Argentine-born pontiff with several gifts, including a Spanish national soccer team jersey signed by all the players.
The pope gave Rajoy a pen designed by the Vatican Museums.
“This (the audience) has made me extremely happy, we were in need of it,” the prime minister told the pope as they parted.
Rajoy later met with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
The Spanish leader also gave Bertone, a huge soccer fan, a Spanish national soccer team jersey.