In a historic meeting, Pope Francis visited retired Pope Benedict XVI, with the new Pope telling his predecessor 'we are brothers'.
The new Pope set off from the Vatican by helicopter to Castel Gandolfo, a 15 minute flight away, where retired pope Benedict was waiting to greet him, according to a statement from the Vatican. Both popes, dressed in white, embraced warmly.
The historic meeting of two popes lasted over two hours, and included a 15 minute prayer session, followed by a private meeting in the Pope emeritus' library, and a lunch with advisors.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said 'When Pope Francis arrived, the Pope Emeritus approached him and there was a beautiful hug between the two.
Upon arrival, the two went into the chapel to pray. In the chapel, the Pope emeritus offered the place of honour to Pope Francis, showing his respect and obedience to the new pope, but he said: 'We are brothers,' and he insisted they knelt together at the same table, a Vatican spokesman said.
Francis also brought a gift to Benedict, an icon of the Madonna, and told him that it's known as the 'Madonna of Humility.'Benedict has been living at the villa, which is the papal summer retreat, since he officially retired on February 28, the first pope to step down in 600 years.
Father Lombardi told reporters the meeting was 'the culmination' of major events in the life of the church over the past month, the prayerful and successful transition of the papacy. The meeting, he said, was 'a sign of communion.'