Pope Francis met with Argentine President Javier Milei for the first time this Monday in the Vatican for an hour and gave him dulce de leche alfajores and lemon cookies. The private meeting started at 9:00 a.m. and ended at 10:00 a.m. This was followed by the welcoming of the delegation and the presentation of gifts, the Vatican reported.
Milei arrived at the Patio de San Damaso, which gives access to the Apostolic Palace, at 8:58 a.m., a few minutes late since his arrival was scheduled for 8:45 a.m. because he stopped in front of the Argentine on the way to the meeting Embassy to take a photo with some compatriots. The Argentine delegation then met with Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.
The President gave the Pope a copy of Chancellor José María Gutiérrez’s handwritten letter to Juan Bautista Alberdi accrediting him as representative in Europe, dated May 1854, a painting with the image of the commemorative postcard of the first Argentine saint, Mama Antula, the was canonized this Sunday and which the Correo Argentino distributed on the occasion of her beatification.
As well as dulce de leche alfajores and lemon cookies from the Pope’s preferred brand, according to Milei’s spokesman Manuel Adorni in his report on X.
For his part, the Argentine Pope gave Milei, as he usually gives to all visitors, his message of peace for this year, some of his writings and a bronze medallion with a cross and a dove, inspired by the canopy of St. Peter’s Basilica by Gian Lorenzo Bernini “and symbolizing harmony between the sacred and the divine, uniting heaven and earth.”
Upon his arrival, Milei was received by the head of the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household, Leonardo Sapienza, and the “gentlemen” who accompanied him on a tour of the impressive frescoed corridors until he reached the Second Lodge, where the library of is the papal apartment, place of audiences.
The President is accompanied by his sister and General Secretary of the Presidium, Karina Milei; his foreign minister, Diana Mondino; the head of the Interior Ministry, Guillermo Francos; that of human capital, Sandra Pettovello; the Minister of Culture Francisco Sánchez and the Ambassador to Israel, Rabbi Axel Wahnish, who will join in a welcome at the end of the meeting.
This Sunday, Milei attended the canonization Mass of María José de Paz y Figueroa, better known as Mama Antula, where she was able to greet Pope Francis for the first time, after the then presidential candidate considered the Pope a “representative of evil in the country” and advocates “bloody dictatorships”.
During this meeting, Milei lovingly hugged the Pope and asked him to kiss him, while the Argentine Pope jokingly exclaimed, “You cut your hair!”, to the laughter of both. “I messed up,” the president replied, cupping his hands and laughing, as heard in videos of the meeting.