HomeWorldItaly-Argentina: Milei, out-of-protocol hug with Pope Francis

Italy-Argentina: Milei, out-of-protocol hug with Pope Francis


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The President of Argentina, Javier Milei, had a brief meeting with today Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, at the end of the canonization ceremony of Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa, known as Mama Antula, the first Argentine saint. The Pontiff, who celebrated the rite, approached Milei’s position in a wheelchair. The two shook hands and then the Argentine president hugged the Holy Father, out of protocol. Pope Francis greeted Milei briefly even before the mass and will receive him in audience tomorrow morning at 9.

Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa, born in 1730 and died in 1799, was canonized for her life of prayer and works of charity. Without embracing religious life, she followed the teachings of the fathers of the Society of Jesus and after the expulsion of the Jesuits from the South American country she continued their work of spiritual exercises. Pope Francis defined her as “a wayfarer of the Spirit”. “He traveled thousands of kilometers on foot, through deserts and dangerous roads, to bring God. Today he is for us a model of apostolic fervor and audacity,” the Pontiff said in his homily, recalling that “he made his way into homes, neighborhoods, in transport, in shops, in factories, and in hearts, to offer a dignified life through work, justice, daily bread on the table of the poor”.

Tomorrow the tenant of the Casa Rosada will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Diana Mondino, the Minister of the Interior Guillermo Francos, the Minister of Human Capital Sandra Pettovello, the general secretary of the Presidency Karina Milei, sister of the president, the secretary for Worship Francisco Sanchez and Rabbi Axel Wahnish, designated as Argentina’s new ambassador to Israel.


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