According to a release issued by the Holy See Press Office, the private and confidential meeting began in the Vatican Apostolic Library at 9:00 local time and lasted nearly sixty minutes. Following, the traditional exchange of gifts between the two parties took place.
Milei gave Francis traditional Argentine sweets, dulce de leche alfajores, cookies filled with chocolate, a caramel spread, and a folder containing a copy of the handwritten letter from Foreign Minister José María Gutiérrez to Juan Bautista Alberdi, dated May 1854, and accrediting him as Chargé d’Affaires, representative in Europe and before the Pope.
He also included a picture with the commemorative postcard issued in 2017 on the occasion of the beatification of Mama Antula as María Antonia de Paz y Figueroa, the first female saint of that Latin American nation, whose canonization took place at the Vatican on Sunday morning.
The Bishop of Rome reciprocated with volumes of papal documents, the Message for Peace 2024, the book on the Statio Orbis, and a bronze medallion inspired by the Baldachin of Saint Peter.
Milei’s meeting with the Pope marked singular characteristics after his verbal attacks on him during his electoral campaign. After his inauguration, he sent him a letter inviting him to visit Argentina and, upon his arrival in Rome, described him as “the most important Argentinean in history.”
After he met with the Pope, the president had contact with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See, with the participation of Monsignor Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations.
Milei arrived in Italy on February 9 to comply with an agenda that, in addition to this audience with Pope Francis, includes meetings with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and President Sergio Mattarella this Monday afternoon, after which he will return to Argentina.