Wearing a white button-down shirt and an Adidas track jacket, Cuba’s leftist icon and former leader, Fidel Castro, shook the hand of Pope Francis, the first pope from Latin America in Castro’s home in Havana, Cuba.
Castro signed the book, “For Pope Francis, on occasion of his visit to Cuba, with the admiration and respect of the Cuban people,” according to ABC News.
In return, Pope Francis gave Castrotwo CDs of homily recordings, a copy of his two encyclicals (official papal writings), two books on spirituality, and a book and CD on the writings of Father Armando Llorente, a priest who taught Castro in Jesuit prep school more than 70 years ago.
On Saturday, Pope Francis flew from Rome to began his 10-day visit to Cuba and the US. The pope will stay in Cuba until Tuesday, when he leaves for Washington. Pope Francis will also visit New York City and Philadelphia before returning to Rome on September 28.
Last year, Pope Francis mediated a discussion between Cuba and Washington in hopes to repairdiplomatic relations between the Cold War foes.