Close
BRAND NEW ON E!
  • News/ 

    President Barack Obama and Pope Francis Meet for the First Time—And Can't Stop Smiling!

    Pope Francis, Barack Obama GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

    Well, don't these two look like fast friends?!

    President Barack Obama and Pope Francis met for the first time on Thursday after the POTUS traveled to the Vatican to visit the pontiff.

    Obama expressed his "great admiration" for the Argentine native, who not only graced the January cover of Rolling Stone—thereby cementing his status as a pope of the people—but was also named Time's Person of the Year in December.

    The president appeared at ease as he walked through the halls of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace to the entrance of the pope's private library, where the pair held a closed-door meeting that reportedly lasted 52 minutes, which is slightly longer than typical papal meetings with other world leaders.

    PHOTOS: Russell Crowe, Noah director meet Pope Francis

    Obama gifted Francis with a box of seeds, telling him, "I think these are carrots," while showing him the pouch, which was made from timber from the first Cathedral to open in the United States.

    Alternatively, the pope gave the POTUS two medallions, as well as a copy of Evangelii Gaudium or The Joy of the Gospel. The book was penned by the pope and Obama clearly appeared ecstatic upon receiving a copy.

    "You know, I actually will probably read this when I'm in the Oval Office, when I am deeply frustrated and I am sure it will give me strength and will calm me down," Obama said, even joking that his wife and kids "have to put up" with him.

    "I hope," the pope responded.

    NEWS: Pope Francis is TIME's Person of the Year

    During their nearly hour-long meeting, the two esteemed officials focused on their shared initiatives while working to find common ground with regards to their differences.

    "I was grateful to have the opportunity to speak with him about the responsibilities that we all share to care for the least of these, the poor, the excluded," Obama told reporters after the meeting. "And I was extremely moved by his insights about the importance of us all having a moral perspective on world problems and not simply thinking in terms of our own narrow self-interests."

    The president also invited the pope to his home in Washington D.C. "If you have a chance to come to the White House, we can show you our garden as well," Obama said before the pope responded "Why not," in Spanish.

    Obama's meeting was part of a six-day European tour. He is the ninth president to make an official visit to the Vatican.

    PHOTOS: Hollywood Gets Political

    RELATED VIDEOS:

    FROM AROUND THE WEB
    MORE ON EONLINE

    Selena Sizzles

    Check out her summery red carpet style!