Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, Co-Founder/Co-Chair of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Secretary-General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA), met this week with Pope Francis at the Vatican in Rome.

Pujya Swamiji presented His Holiness Pope Francis with an elaichimala (a mala made of fresh cardamom pods, shown in the photo) as he commended him for his tireless and historic efforts towards ensuring a sustainable future.

Pujya Swamiji lovingly said to Pope Francis: “You are bringing a new vision and new concept of religion, a green vision, a vision of religion that thinks, cares and acts for the whole planet. You are a Pope of Hope – bringing new hope to so many people across the world.”

He also presented Pope Francis with a proposal for a high-level Summit on the Ganga and Jordon Rivers, which will address the challenges being faced by these ancient and sacred rivers and the people who live on their banks.

Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati shared with Pope Francis that the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance is preparing books regarding the importance of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) in every religion and she humbly requested Pope Francis to write the foreword for the book on WASH in Christianity.

She also presented Pope Francis with a copy of “By God’s Grace”, Pujya Swamiji’s biography which she authored, and a copy of Pujya Swamiji’s book “Peace.” As Pope Francis graciously received the books, Pujya Swamiji told him: “You are a man of peace and this is what the world needs today. Our world is turning to pieces in so many places, and we need to turn those pieces into peace. You are a great model of the peace that our world needs and you are doing so much to spread this crucial message.”