Argentina’s Milei meets Pope Francis, gifts ‘alfajores,’ lemon cookies

Vatican City, Feb 12 (EFE).- Argentina’s President Javier Milei met Pope Francis in the Vatican on Monday and gave him “alfajores de dulce de leche” sandwich cookies and a special brand of lemon cookies that the pope likes.

The meeting began at 9 am local time (8am GMT) and concluded at 10am, and was followed by the greeting of the delegation and the presentation of gifts, according to the Vatican.

Milei’s arrival was delayed by over 10 minutes as he stopped in front of the Argentinian embassy to take pictures with his countrymen.

Besides the cookies, the president gave the pontiff the copy of the handwritten letter of Foreign Minister Jose Maria Gutierrez to Juan Bautista Alberdi accrediting him as representative in Europe, dated May 1854, presidential spokesperson Manuel Adorni posted on social media platform X.

Milei also gifted Pope Francis a picture with the image of the commemorative postcard of Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa, an 18th century consecrated lay woman better known as “Mama Antula,” who became Argentina’s first female saint after her canonization on Sunday.

For his part, the Argentinian pontiff gave Milei – as he usually does to those visiting him – his Message of Peace for the year, some of his writings and a bronze medallion with a cross and a dove, inspired by St. Peter’s Baldachin made by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, which symbolizes the harmony between the sacred and the divine, uniting heaven and earth.

On Sunday, Milei attended the canonization Mass for Mama Antula, and greeted Pope Francis for the first time and hugged him.

His gestures are an attempt to make peace with Pope Francis, which the latter reciprocated, after Milei belittled the pontiff as “imbecile who defends social justice.”

During this meeting, Milei affectionately embraced the pope and asked to kiss him while the Argentine pontiff jokingly exclaimed, “You cut your hair!” as they broke into laughter. EFE


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