Angelina Jolie meets the Pope in Rome

Angelina Jolie paid a very special visit to the Vatican for a "VIP meet-and-greet" with the Pope on Thursday (Jan. 8) morning. The Oscar-winning actress was invited to the Roman enclave by Pope Francis, and was asked to screen her movie, Unbroken, at the Casina Pio IV, the headquarters of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Dressed elegantly in an all-black suit ensemble, Angelina was pictured beaming as she shook hands with the leader of the Catholic church.

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"Being invited with my film to the Vatican is an honour and a great tribute to the story that I have told in Unbroken," Angelina said in a statement released by Universal Pictures. "The story of the hero Louis a great example of strength and forgiveness."

The 39-year-old actress took her two eldest daughters along for the Italian journey. She was spotted with Shiloh, aged eight, and nine-year-old Zahara at Ciampino airport in Rome on Wednesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, the Jolie-Pitt ladies stepped out for a spot of shopping, heading to local toy shop Berte in Piazza Navona. Angelina, a UN Goodwill Ambassador, was dressed more casually for the outing, sporting in a chic black overcoat and knee-length leather boots and wore her brunette locks loose.

It is understood that Angelina's husband Brad Pitt was also scheduled to attend the meeting with the Pope but due to a "last minute change" didn't make the trip, a source revealed.

While Hollywood star Angelina is famed for her successful career on screen, she has also been busy in recent years in her role as a UN Goodwill Ambassador.

Angelina arrived with her two eldest daughters in Rome on Wednesday.

Last year, she co-chaired an event campaigning for the end of sexual violence in war zones. A source tells 3am: "Angelina is a very passionate campaigner, so even though this meeting has taken a long, long time to come to fruition, she was determined to make it happen.

"Her work as a humanitarian has been noticed and appreciated."

A Vatican source explains: " The visit has been in the works for some time and is part of Angelina's ongoing work with the UNHCR."

According to a source, both Angelina and Brad "admire the Pope" and "like the Pope's message" after he famously spoke about homosexuality in 2013. He said: "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?"

The star couple have spoken out in support of gay marriage many times and even pledged not to marry until every couple in America could - later though, Brad admitted the pair "wouldn't be able to hold out" and they married in France in 2014.

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