Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 20 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Andrew Kim Taegon and Companions
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Austrian President offers herd of goats to Pope Francis



Agence I.Media - published on 06/08/21

The gift was a nod to to the pope's commitment to the care of Creation.

Pope Francis received Alexander Van der Bellen, President of the Republic of Austria, at the Vatican on June 7, the Holy See Press Office announced. The two discussed environmental and diplomatic issues, but the meeting was especially noteworthy because of the original gift the Austrian politician gave to the pope.

A gift of 20 goats

Alexander Van der Bellen – an independent politician backed by the environmental Green Party- presented the head of the Catholic Church with twenty “portraits” of goats which were offered in his name to families in Burundi. These original photographs are part of an Austrian Caritas project called “Giving Meaning.”

The head of state, who came accompanied by the Minister of European Affairs, Karoline Edtstadler and the Minister of the Environment, Leonore Gewessler, offered another original gift to the pontiff: a work of art by the contemporary painter Karin Mayer, framed by a young disabled boy. The works of this Austrian visual artist are currently on display in Melk Abbey as part of an exhibition – the catalog of which was donated to the Pope – once again organized by Caritas Austria.

Art inspired by the biblical story of Noah

Pope Francis, who received Alexander Van der Bellen for twenty-five minutes, for his part presented him with a mosaic made by the craftsmen of the Vatican mosaic workshop. The artwork represented a particularly ecological theme, that of the biblical story of Noah. It is titled “With Noah, God opens a way of salvation for Creation and for every man.” The pontiff accompanied this gift with important texts from his pontificate, in particular the Message for Peace 2021 and the Document for Human Fraternity.

The Austrian President also met Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Secretary for Relations with States Bishop Paul Richard Gallagher. The good relations between the two States were underlined, as well as the role played by the Catholic Church in the promotion of solidarity in favor of peace and universal brotherhood, and the care of Creation.


Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
Kathleen N. Hattrup
On same-sex unions, Pope says Church doesn’t have power to change...
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
Visalia CHURCH
J-P Mauro
The largest Catholic parish church in the US will soon be in Cali...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.