The Pope presented the President of Italy Russian icon

© 2017 AFP / Vincenzo Pinto Pope Francis. Archival photoThe Pope presented the President of Italy Russian icon© 2017 AFP / Vincenzo Pinto

Pope Francis gave the President of Italy Russian icon on which an unknown artist of the XVII-XVIII centuries depicted the apostles Peter and Paul. In response, the head of the Roman Catholic Church has received from the Sergio Mattarella an exquisite silver clasp for the robe.

The exchange of gifts occurred during the visit of the Pontiff at the presidential Quirinal Palace on Saturday morning, the Agency askanews. Papa Bergoglio came on the usual blue Ford Focus, accompanied by a small motorcade.

After honorary appointments, the welcoming ceremony, national anthems and military honors dad and Mattarella went into the office of the President of Italy. At the end of the conversation, they addressed the audience in the Hall of the cuirassiers, the large ceremonial hall of the Quirinal Palace, which hosts receptions, meetings and appointments. Among the audience were the head of the Italian government Paolo Gentiloni, the Vatican Secretary of state cardinal Pietro parolin, President of the Chamber of deputies of the Italian Parliament, Laura Boldrini, head of the Senate Pietro Grasso and other policies of the country.

The current visit of the Pope to the President of Italy was a response to the visit of the head of the Italian state to the Vatican in April 2015. Earlier in 2013, the Pontiff met in the Quirinal Palace with the predecessor, Mattarella as President of Italy Giorgio Napolitano.