King Albert and Queen Paola in a private audience with the Pope

  October 13, 2009 at 6:58 pm by

King Albert and Queen Paola were received in a private audience by Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday.

View the image at Getty

As customary for a Catholic Queen, Paola wore a white veil (in contrast to other women, who have to wear black veil), while King Albert kneeled before the Pope.

A note published by the press office of the Holy See reported: “In the course of the cordial discussions issues concerning Africa, international politics, respect for human rights and the development of peoples were treated. Recalling the history of the Church in Belgium, they then reflected on the importance of the canonization of Blessed Damien Jozef De Veuster and his exemplarity for Belgium and the whole world”.

The meeting took place the day before the canonization ceremony of Father Damien. Father Damien, a Belgian missionary priest, left for Molokai to provide medical and spiritual care for the people affected by leprosy there. He was infected while taking care of his patients. The King and Queen had already attended a Mass in honour of Father Damien in Tremelo – the place he was born as Jozef Damian de Veuster.

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