The Malta Independent 17 October 2019, Thursday

President Vella renews invitation for Pope Francis to visit Malta

Monday, 16 September 2019, 13:57 Last update: about 30 days ago

President George Vella has renewed Malta’s invitation for Pope Francis to visit the Maltese Islands.

President Vella had a private audience with the Pope at the Vatican on Monday morning. The President is on a four-day visit to Italy.

Dr Vella described Pope Francis as a person who is truly close to the people. He said he felt like he was talking to someone he knew, and that the Pope understands the Maltese way of life and culture.

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The President is accompanied by his wife and children, and by a delegation that includes Education Minister Evarist Bartolo.

At the end of the private audience, the Pope and the President exchanged gifts. The Pope, on behalf of the Maltese people, was gifted with a mosaic painting of the Madonna ta’ Pinu, created by the Gozo Diocese’s Eikon liturgical art centre.

The delegation also held a meeting with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Under Secretary Mons Antoine Camilleri. Migration was among the themes discussed.

Cardinal Parolin thanked Malta for the way it has addressed the migration issue over the past years.

The President will meet his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella, on Tuesday.

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