Uachtarán na hÉireann, President Michael D. Higgins, met with His Holiness Pope Francis at a Private Audience in the Pontiff’s Library in the Vatican.
It was anticipated that President Higgins would discuss a number of issues of shared interest with Pope Francis, including the interlinked global challenges of climate change, migration, global poverty, food security, the rights of indigenous people and global peace. President Higgins has praised the contribution which Pope Francis has made to the vital debate on these issues, including in his recent encyclical Laudate Deum.
This meeting was the fourth such engagement between President Higgins and Pope Francis, following previous meetings in the Vatican in 2017 and 2021 and at Áras an Uachtaráin in 2018. President Higgins also met with Pope Francis at the Papal Inauguration in 2013.
At their meeting, President Higgins presented Pope Francis with a sculpture entitled ‘The Expelled’ by renowned Irish sculptor John Behan RHA. The President chose to present this piece to Pope Francis in recognition of the vital work which the Pope has carried out in drawing public attention to the plight of refugees and migrants across the world.