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In the News: President Obama Gives Historic Seeds to Pope Francis

From the White House pool report:

Photo: Gabriel Bouys, AFP/Getty Images"President Barack Obama presented His Holiness Pope Francis with a custom-made seed chest featuring a variety of fruit and vegetable seeds used in the White House Garden.  Earlier this month, Pope Francis made the historic announcement that he would open to the public the gardens of the papal summer residence, the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.

The chest is made from American leather, and features reclaimed wood from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is one of the oldest Catholic cathedrals built in the United States. 

The Basilica’s cornerstone was laid by John Carroll, a Jesuit and the first Catholic bishop and archbishop in the United States.  The Cathedral was designed by Benjamin Latrobe, who was selected by President Thomas Jefferson to serve as an Architect of the Capitol, and played a pivotal role in its design and construction.

The inscription on the chest reads:
 
Presented to His Holiness Pope Francis
by Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
March 27, 2014
 
In keeping with the spirit of the gift, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello will donate seeds that will yield several tons of produce to a charity of Pope Francis’ choosing."

 

Obama's gift to Pope Francis: A seed chest
President Obama presented Pope Francis with a custom-made seed chest on Thursday, containing fruit and vegetable seeds used in the White House Garden.  The White House said that "in keeping with the spirit of the gift, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello will donate seeds that will yield several tons of produce to a charity of Pope Francis' choosing." (March 27, 2014)

'I'm A Great Admirer,' Obama Tells Pope Francis
According to reporters traveling with Obama, the president presented the pope with a gift: "a custom-made seed chest featuring a variety of fruit and vegetable seeds used in the White House garden." (March 27, 2014)

Obama brings gifts to Pope Francis
The president presented Francis with a custom-made seed chest featuring a variety of fruit and vegetable seeds used in the White House Garden. (March 27, 2014)

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