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Milei, Pope Francis embrace in Rome despite past insults: ‘May the forces of heaven accompany us’

milei,-pope-francis-embrace-in-rome-despite-past-insults:-‘may-the-forces-of-heaven-accompany-us’
Milei, Pope Francis embrace in Rome despite past insults: ‘May the forces of heaven accompany us’

The president of Argentina embraced Pope Francis during an extensive meeting in Rome this week, quashing a long-standing feud with the pontiff.

President Javier Milei appeared at the Vatican and spoke with Pope Francis for over an hour – an exceptionally long diplomatic meeting by the pope’s standards.

“One of the things that I’ve come to understand, among other things, is that the pope is the Argentine who is the most important person in the country,” Milei told Italian outlet Retequattro.

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Pope Francis Milei

Argentine President Javier Milei greets Pope Francis prior to the start of the canonization Mass for Argentina’s first female saint, María Antonia de Paz y Figueroa, also known as “Mama Antula,” presided over by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica at The Vatican. (Vatican Media via AP, HO)

Milei in the past called Pope Francis a slew of derogatory terms, including an “imbecile” and a “son of a b—-.” The president went so far as to once characterize the pontiff as “the representative of malignance on Earth.”

Those past remarks seemed to evaporate on Monday when Milei attended a canonization Mass for Argentina’s newest recognized saint, María Antonia de Paz y Figueroa – a religious sister born in 1730 who famously catered to the poor and sick.

Pope Francis led the Mass canonizing Figueroa, which the Argentinian president attended. Milei hugged the pope in a tight embrace following the liturgy.

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canonization mass

Pope Francis presides over the canonization of Argentina’s newest saint, María Antonia de Paz y Figueroa, in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

“May God bless Argentines and may the forces of heaven accompany us,” Milei’s office said on social media following the celebration.

The Argentinian president said it was only after personally meeting the pope that he began to understand the importance of his position and diplomatic work.

“As a result, I had to reconsider some positions, and starting from that moment, we began to build a positive relationship,” Milei said in an interview.

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Pope Francis and Milei smile

Argentine President Javier Milei embraces Pope Francis as they meet in the pontiff’s studio at The Vatican for a private audience. (Vatican Media via AP, HO)

Pope Francis has repeatedly stated his intention to visit his home country in the coming years, but a definitive date has not yet been set.

Milei’s office has expressed equal enthusiasm for an apostolic journey to Argentina, suggesting it would come together soon.

“Regarding the pope, he is invited, he is Argentinian and he will come for sure but I don’t know when,” Argentine Foreign Minister Diana Mondino told Italian reporters.

Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at timothy.nerozzi@fox.com

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