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Popes Meet for Lunch, Make History (VIDEO)

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By Brittney R. Villalva , Christian Post Reporter
March 24, 2013|9:33 am
  • pope francis
    (Photo: Reuters/Max Rossi)
    Pope Francis arrives in Saint Peter's Square for his inaugural mass at the Vatican, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural mass on Tuesday among political and religious leaders from around the world and amid a wave of hope for a renewal of the scandal-plagued Roman Catholic Church.

The current and former popes made history on Saturday by becoming the first two popes to ever meet over lunch.

It is extremely rare for a former pope to still be alive when a new pontiff has been installed, and this is the first time in about 600 years that a pope has retired prior to his death after Pope Benedict's stepping down on Feb. 28, 2013.

The unusual situation has allowed New pontiff, Pope Francis, to meet with former Pope Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo on Saturday.

The two men embraced before praying together and then spending the best part of an hour using the facility's library for talks.

It is unclear what the two men talked about, but their meeting was "a moment of profound and elevated communion," according to Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi, who spoke with CNN.

Dressed in all white, both men showed a reverence for one another. Pope Francis gifted Benedict with a painting titled "Madonna of Humility."

"I thought of you," Pope Francis told Benedict, according to the Vatican. "You gave us so many signs of humility and gentleness in your pontificate."

While Benedict previously chose the title of "Emeritus Pope," he pledged his obedience to Pope Francis on Saturday and offered him the front pew preserved for the pope. Pope Francis responded by refusing to kneel alone and the two men chose a different pew together.

"We're brothers," said Francis, according to the Daily News.

Media was not allowed into Castel Gandolfo during the meeting. But according to reports, Benedict, 85, appeared frail and used a cane to walk. The two met for two and half hours before joining for lunch with their secretaries.

 

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