Vice President Mike Pence told Pope Francis on Friday that the pontiff made him a 'hero' for giving him a gift for his mom.
Pence was raised Catholic but is now an evangelical, born-again Christian. His mother Nancy was reported to be disappointed by his conversion and remains a member of the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis, while meeting with the vice president at the Vatican, gave him a small white box containing a medal.
'This is for mom,' Pence said.
'You've made me a hero,' he told the pope.
Vice President Mike Pence told Pope Francis he made him a 'hero' for giving him a gift for his mom Nancy
Vice President Pence brought his daughter-in-law Sarah and his wife Karen to join his meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican
After he met with the pope, Pence and his party toured the Sistine Chapel
Pence visited the Apostolic Palace after meeting with the pope
The vice president and the pontiff held a one hour conversation that had Pence beaming when he left the discussion in the papal library.
The two men discussed 'the March for Life, Venezuela, and displaced religious minorities in Middle East,' according to the vice president's office.
Pence was at Vatican City in Rome, meeting with the head of the Catholic Church, as Donald Trump prepares to become the first U.S. president to ever address the anti-abortion March for Life rally on the National Mall Friday afternoon.
The vice president extended Trump's best wishes to the pontiff.
'I wanted to extend the warmest greetings on behalf of President Donald Trump who so enjoyed his visit here,' Pence said to Pope Francis. 'And he wanted me to send his regards.'
Pence was joined by his wife Karen and daughter-in-law Sarah. They were joined for their meeting at the Vatican by U.S ambassador to the Holy See Callista Gingrich and her husband, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Pence gave the pope a crucifix made with wood from a tree near the Vice President's residence.
Pope Francis also gave Pence five bound books of his writings as pope, as well as a copy of the annual peace message.
Vice President Pence and Karen Pence in the Sala Regia at the Apostolic Palace
Pence with Vatican representatives and members of the Swiss guard
Pence gave Pope Francis a crucifix made of wood from near the vice president's home
Vice President Pence with his mom Nancy during a September 2019 trip to Ireland
U.S ambassador to the Holy See Callista Gingrich and her husband, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, greeted the Pence party upon their arrival in Italy
The Pence party also toured the Sistine Chapel - which was filled with tourists while the vice president was in there - and then the vice president headed to separate meetings with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Premier Giuseppe Conte.
The president will head to the National Mall on Friday to address the pro-life movement.
His speech comes as he courts religious voters ahead of the November election - a voting base he'll need at the ballot box - and as he fights off impeachment charges against him in the Senate.
He'll speak to the crowd a short distance away from the U.S. Capitol, where Democrats will wrap up their case against Trump on Friday afternoon.
Last year, the president sent a video taped message to the march.
This year he'll be there in person.
March for Life President Jeanne Mancini praised Trump and his administration as 'consistent champions for life.'
'We are deeply honored to welcome President Trump to the 47th annual March for Life,' she said in a statement earlier this week. 'He will be the first president in history to attend and we are so excited for him to experience in person how passionate our marchers are about life and protecting the unborn.'
About 100,000 people attended last year's march.
The announcement of Trump's participation was made on the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade - the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States.
The March for Life began in 1974, the year after the Roe v. Wade decision.sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
The pro-life movement was initially skeptical of Trump when he began his presidential bid but has come to embrace him.