After the audience, Santos told media that the two had mainly discussed the progress of the current peace talks between FARC and the Colombian government. According to the president during the 15-minute audience the pope said “only the brave insist on objectives like the search for peace.”
The religious leader welcomed Santos to celebrate Sunday’s canonization of Colombia’s first saint, Mother Laura. The ceremony broadcast from Vatican City canonized a record 802 new saints including the Colombian, a Mexican nun and 800 Italian martyrs killed in 1480.
After the private audience, Santos presented the pope with a special edition of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ famed book “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” Apparently, Pope Francis was already a fan of the beloved Colombian novelist and said that it was a book he had “enjoyed very much.”
The pope, in return, presented Santos with three holy medals and gave a rosary to each of the 11 members of the president’s entourage, including Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, Medellin Mayor Anibal Gaviria and Colombia’s ambassador to the Holy See, German Cardona.
Santos said that the papal audience was “an injection of optimism and stimulation to continue with the work for the good of our countrymen.”