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Mrs. Kennedy Received by Pope John XXIII

Mar. 11, 1962 - Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy was received in private audience by Pope John XXIII today amid all the pomp and splendor of the Vatican. The half-hour conversation between the President’s wife and the spiritual head of the Roman Catholic Church took place in the Pontiff’s private library on the second floor of the Vatican Palace. Mrs. Kennedy, like her husband a Catholic, was shown alone into the presence of the Pope, who had dispensed with his usual interpreter. She knelt as she entered the room and again at the end of the audience to receive his blessing. They conversed in French, in which both are fluent. The Pope gave her medals of his Pontificate and rosaries for herself, her husband and two children. She reciprocated with an autographed copy, bound in red leather, of President Kennedy’s book “To Turn the Tide.” On entering and leaving the Vatican, Mrs. Kennedy was warmly cheered by crowds in St. Peter’s Square. Though Mrs. Kennedy, who is 32, met the 81-year-old Pontiff for the first time today, she is not new to papal audiences. She was received in a group audience by Pope Pius XII in 1948.

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