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Pope gets unusual gift during Maltese audience

Friday - 3/21/2014, 2:21pm  ET

Pope Francis smiles at Malta's President George Abela, third from left, and, from left, his son Robert, grandson Matteo, daughter Maria and wife Margaret, during a private audience in the Pontiff's studio, at the Vatican, Friday, March 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- 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.


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