Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Pope Francis at the Vatican for the first time since the outbreak of full-scale hostilities with Russia over a year ago.

Their 40-minute discussion centered around Ukraine’s political and humanitarian predicaments due to the ongoing conflict. The Pope pledged his unwavering prayer support and emphasized the importance of providing humanitarian aid to the innocent victims of war.

Zelenskyy presented the Pontiff with two significant gifts: a painting titled “Loss 2022-58” representing the tragedy of child casualties in the conflict, and a collage from the “Protect the Defender” series, featuring an image of the Virgin Mary and made of bulletproof material, wood, and paint.

Zelenskyy, who was in the Vatican for around an hour, also held a meeting with Archbishop Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s foreign minister, in the company of Andrii Yurash, Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See.

Earlier in the day, the Ukrainian president engaged in discussions with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. At a joint press conference, Meloni affirmed Italy’s commitment to bolster Ukraine’s position, even militarily, to strengthen its negotiation stance. Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude towards Italy for providing refuge to Ukrainians amid the conflict.

Pray for peace!

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