Pope Francis blessed Taiwan on Wednesday when he received the island's Control Yuan Vice President Sun Ta-chuan, head of a Taiwanese delegation, in a General Audience Wednesday.
The delegation departed from Taiwan for the Vatican Tuesday and was arranged by the Republic of China (Taiwan) Embassy at the Holy See to see the Pope in his general audience the following day.
On Wednesday, Sun, a Catholic himself, paid regards to the Pope on behalf of Taiwan and the Pope responded by saying "Bless Taiwan."
The delegation's goal is to inspect the government's mission in pushing for humanitarian diplomacy.
The delegation then paid a visit to the ROC embassy and listened to a briefing by Ambassador Mattew S. M. Lee.
The Vatican is the only diplomatic ally of the ROC in Europe.
Lee noted that the Republic of China has in recent years provided humanitarian assistance to disaster-affected areas in the world mostly through the Vatican and use pictures or words in relief materials to express the ROC's concerns and goodwill to the peoples of the affected areas.
He pointed out, however, that among overseas students studying theology in the Vatican, around 200 are from mainland China, with only one from Taiwan.
The ROC and Catholic groups in Taiwan should step up exchanges with the Vatican in theology, he urged.
Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council