Pope gets unusual gift during audience with outgoing Maltese president: a plastic dinosaur
Pope Francis, center, poses for photographers with, Malta's President George Abela, at his left, holding his granddaughter Giorgia May, his son Robert, third from left, holding his son Matteo, and wife Lidia, holding her son Luca, his wife Margaret, third from right, and his daughter Maria with husband Paolo during a private audience in the Pontiff's studio, at the Vatican, Friday, March 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
The Associated Press
Published Friday, March 21, 2014 2:23PM EDT
VATICAN CITY -- Like his papal predecessors, Pope Francis receives all kinds of official gifts from visiting dignitaries: plaques, religious icons and limited-edition books.
On Friday, he received something rather unique from little Luca Manconi, the 3-year-old grandson of Maltese President George Abela, who tagged along for his grandfather's audience with the pope. When Luca and his parents joined Abela's delegation at the end of the 20-minute private meeting, he presented Francis with a little plastic dinosaur.
Francis seemed utterly charmed by Luca and his 2-year-old cousin Georgia-Mae, taking them both by the hand and walking to his chair. He also gave a tender kiss to Luca's 6-week-old brother, Matteo.
Abela end his five-year term as Malta's figurehead president April 4.