Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI met at the Vatican gardens for the unveiling of a new statue representing St. Michael Archangel, the universal protector of the Church and patron of Vatican City.
Benedict XVI, who was invited by Pope Francis, was welcomed with a great applause. The most moving moment was when the two Popes hugged. They also sat next to each other throughout the ceremony.
“We’ve gathered here today in the Vatican Gardens to unveil a sculpture of Saint Michael Archangel, the patron of Vatican City. It is something that had been planned a long time ago and that was approved by Pope Benedict XVI, whom we address with all our affection and thanksgiving. We also want to express to him our great joy in having him here today among us. Thank you so much.”
The statue is made of bronze and is about 16 feet high.