The private meeting, in the presence of the interpreter, between the Pope and the Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Trajko Velianoski, lasted about half an hour. Bergoglio received him and his retinue, which consisted of the Prime Minister’s wife, an Orthodox bishop and a Catholic one.
The Prime Minister gave the Pope a beautiful tiara handmade by the nuns of the Rajcica monastery, with pearls from the Ohrid Lake. Offering it to the Pontiff, he said he knew that popes no longer wear tiaras, but he wanted to make this gift to solemnize the visit. Pope Bergoglio reciprocated with copies of his Encyclical Praised Be and of his apostolic exhortations Evangelii Gaudium and Amoris Laetitia.
At the time of taking leave, both the prime Minister and the Catholic bishop invited the Pope to visit Macedonia. Velianoski also said “see you soon”, probably alluding to the presence of a Macedonian delegation at the canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta on next September 4th.