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Pope Francis enjoys ‘very cordial’ meeting with Martin Scorsese in Vatican

Pope Francis looks at a painting given to him by director Martin Scorsese (AP) Servizio Fotografico © L'Osservatore Romano Diritti d’uso Immagine tel. +39/06/69884797 fax. +39/06/69884998 00120 Città del Vaticano

Pope Francis has met with director Martin Scorsese, whose new film, Silence, about Jesuit missionaries in 17th-century Japan, was screened this week in Rome.

The Vatican says that during the Pontiff’s “very cordial” meeting on Wednesday with Scorsese, Francis mentioned he had read the novel on which the film is based. Francis is a Jesuit who joined the order while a young man in Argentina with the idea of becoming a missionary in Japan, although health problems stop him achieving this ambition.

The Pope thanked Scorsese for his gift of two paintings. The work of an 18th-century Japanese artist, the paintings served as a reference for some of the details in the film.

Some 300 Jesuits studying or working in Rome attended the screening of Silence on Tuesday at the Pontifical Oriental Institute. Scorsese answered the audience’s questions afterwards.

Online resources in support of Silence, including reflection and discussion guide, are available here