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The Close Bond Between Pope Francis US President Joe Biden

The two leaders will be meeting on Friday at the Vatican.

On Friday, October 29, a historic meeting between Pope Francis and US President Joe Biden will happen at the Vatican. Biden will be stopping by the Vatican before he proceeds to his international summits. The two leaders’ meeting will “carry deep political, religious, and symbolic significance”, according to the Washington Post, especially since Joe Biden is only the second Catholic president of the United States.

But apart from it, the meeting will also enable them to reunite, given that the two have a special bond. Religion aside, there are other things that connect the 78-year-old president and the 84-year-old pope. (Read: Pope Calls Joe Biden to Discuss Immigration, Climate Change)

Here’s why Pope Francis and Joe Biden have a special connection. Read on.

The pope condoled the Biden family

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In this Sept. 24, 2015, file photo Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Pope Francis on Capitol Hill in Washington, prior to the pope’s address to a joint meeting of Congress, making history as the first pontiff to do so. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is at right. Biden is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis this coming Friday at the Vatican. (Photo from AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

In 2015, Biden’s son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, passed away after a long bout with brain cancer. A few months after, Pope Francis visited the US. According to Biden, who was the vice president then, the pontiff met them before leaving. Pope Francis spoke to Biden’s immediate and extended family, and “spoke in detail about Beau, about who he was and about family values and about forgiveness and decency.”

“The pope’s been incredibly generous to our family,” Biden said. “I am a great admirer of His Holiness. I really am.”

They have teamed up against cancer

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In this April 29, 2016, file photo, Pope Francis shakes hands with Vice President Joe Biden as he takes part at a congress on the progress of regenerative medicine and its cultural impact, being held in the Pope Paul VI hall at the Vatican. Biden is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis this coming Friday at the Vatican. (Photo from Pablo Martinez Monsivais/L’Osservatore Romano/Pool photo via AP)

In 2016, the two met at the Vatican where the then-vice president called on the world to commit to funding cancer research after he lost his son the year before. “Cancer’s not a national problem, it’s an international problem. It’s a human problem. It affects all races, all religions,” Biden said. After the vice president spoke, Pope Francis took to the stage to agree with him. “Research, whether in academia and industry, requires unwavering attention to moral issues if it is to be an instrument which safeguards human life and the dignity of the person,” the pope said.

After their speeches, the two were also seen chatting and laughing together with other attendees. (Read: Early Cancer Detection, Treatment May Become Possible Thanks To This Pinoy Elon Musk)

A photo of the two is displayed in the Oval Office

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Photo from Reuters

The Oval Office houses all of the US president’s paper work and some personal stuff here and there. And as for Joe Biden, one of the personal items he has in his formal working space is a photo of him and Pope Francis displayed alongside photos of his family. The pontiff has visited the US a number of times, and had been to the White House in 2015 when Barack Obama was president.

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