The Holy Father made a telephone call yesterday to Giorgio Napolitano, the newly re-elected president of the Italian Republic. Napolitano had recently sent a telegram to Pope Francis, wishing him well during the Feast of St. George on Tuesday.
St. George is the namesake of the Holy Father, whose name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
According to a communique released by the Holy See Press Office, the Pope expressed his gratitude and his admiration for the Italian president.
“Mr. President, I called to thank you for your example,” Pope Francis told the president. “You have been an example for me. With your conduct, you have brought to life the fundamental principle of coexistence: that unity is greater than conflict. I am touched by your decision.”
On Monday, Napolitano became the first Italian president to be re-elected to a second term. The 87 year old head of state accepted his election due to the inconclusive general elections in February that has caused a major institutional crisis in the country.