Pope Francis on Wednesday at the Vatican received Oscar-winning US film director Martin Scorsese, who was in Rome for a screening of his new film 'Silence' about Jesuit missionaries in 17th-century Japan.
"The meeting was very cordial and lasted around 15 minutes. The Pope told those present that he has read the book Silence which inspired the movie director's latest film," said a statement from the Vatican press office.
Scorsese's wife and two daughters also attended the papal audience along with top Vatican communications official Dario Vigano, the statement said.
Scorsese gave the pontiff two paintings on theme of Japan's persecuted Christians including a highly venerated Madonna by a 17th-century Japanese artist, while Francis offered his guests some rosary beads.
'Silence' was screened on Tuesday for Jesuit priests at a pontifical university in Rome. Based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Japanese Catholic author Shusaku Endo, it is about two Jesuit missionaries who search for their mentor in 17th-century Japan.
The film's plot is likely to be of interest to Francis, who as a young man joined the Jesuit order in hope of becoming a missionary in Japan.