Vatican audience: Pope meets with Canadian governor-general Jean

Canada 's governor-general, Michaelle Jean, met Monday with Pope Benedict XVI during a Vatican audience that also included her 6-year-old daughter. The Haitian-born Jean, who holds the largely ceremonial post of Canada 's head of state, spoke French as well as Italian to the pope during their 25-minute private meeting in Benedict's private library. Jean studied Italian in Montreal and in Italy .

As they sat down, Jean told the pope she had heard he spoke 10 languages. "Maybe three," he replied. Jean's husband, the French-born Quebec filmmaker Jean-Daniel Lafond, escorted their daughter, Marie-Eden, into the room and she shook hands with the pope. They later posed for a photo together, with the pope resting his hands on the little girl's shoulders.

Jean, who is Queen Elizabeth II's representative in Canada , presented Benedict with an Inuit carving of a bear, "testimony of Inuit culture," she said. The pope gave her a papal medal.

Jean, a refugee from Haiti , was sworn in as governor-general in September, the first black person and third woman to hold the title. Her job is to defend Canada 's sovereignty and promote its national identity, reports the AP.

N.U.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team