Mairead McGuinness MEP was at a private audience with His Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican in Rome on Saturday.
MEP McGuinness discussed the future of Europe and her role as Vice-President with responsibility for Dialogue with religious and non-confessional organisations.
"It was an honour to meet Pope Francis and to discuss my role with him. We talked about a number of issues and the importance of communication between the generations.
"In his later address to conference attendees, Pope Francis highlighted the important role of those who produce the food we eat and make the clothes we wear, noting that these are essential roles to fulfil basic human needs but are often the sort of jobs that can be unappreciated at times," McGuinness said.
The MEP was in Rome for a conference entitled 'Christian’s contributions on the future of Europe'.
In her own speech on the theme of 'What kind of Economy for Europe in a changing world' in Rome on Friday, McGuinness called for an economy that is people-centred, built on solid foundations of diversity, and based on sustainability criteria taking climate change, resource efficiency, respect of nature and biodiversity into account.