Pope Francis Meets With Prisoners at His Home

The inmates in Italian prisons were on a pilgrimage to Rome

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Andrew Medichini / AP

Pope Francis at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Jan. 15, 2014

Pope Francis welcomed 19 inmates from Italian prisons into his home Wednesday morning before his weekly General Audience.

The Pope prayed with the prisoners, gave them a blessing and spoke with each of them one by one, Vatican Radio reports. The 45-minute meeting came after the Pope heard the prisoners were at the Vatican Grottoes after attending an early morning Mass and invited them into his home.

An Archbishop present at the meeting called it “beautiful and moving.”

[Vatican Radio]