President Barack Obama has given Pope Francis gifts symbolizing peace and service to the needy.
Gift exchanges are customary between U.S. officials and foreign dignitaries.
Obama gave Francis a sculpture of an ascending dove that incorporates original material from the Statue of Liberty, regarded as a beacon of hope and freedom. The sculpture’s pedestal is made of wood from the White House grounds and includes a personalized inscription. The White House did not provide text of the inscription.
Obama also gave the pope a key from the Maryland home of Elizabeth Ann Seton, who dedicated herself to serving the needy. She was the first native-born American to become a saint; this year marks the 40th anniversary of her canonization. The key dates to 1809 and was presented on a marble slab from the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
For his part, Francis gave Obama a bronze bas-relief of the medallion of the World Meeting of Families, the big Catholic rally in Philadelphia that was the original reason for his U.S. visit.
The medallion features the meeting logo: A liberty bell embossed with the image of a family.
Francis visits Philadelphia later this week to close out the rally.
The sculpture given to the pope incorporates an original armature bar from the Statue of Liberty, preserved during its centennial restoration.