Pope Francis gives Russian patriarch’s gift to Pope Emeritus Benedict

Pope Francis with former Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Francis with former Pope Benedict XVI

Source: Catholic World News

Three days after Pope Francis received a Marian icon as a gift from Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Pope gave the icon as a gift to Pope Emeritus Benedict.

Metropolitan Hilarion, the Russian Orthodox Church’s chief ecumenical officer, presented the icon of Our Lady, Support of the Humble, along with a book, to Pope Francis during a March 20 audience; Pope Francis in turn presented the icon to the Pope Emeritus on March 23.

Pope Francis told his predecessor that when he had received the icon, and been told that it was an image of “Our Lady of Humility, “I immediately thought of you.”

When informed that his gift to Pope Francis had quickly been passed along to Pope-emeritus Benedict, Metropolitan Hilarion said that he was “very pleased and touched.”

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