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VP to visit Vatican for canonization ceremony

TAIPEI -- Vice President Wu Den-yih is scheduled to leave for the Holy See this weekend to represent the Republic of China at the April 27 canonizations of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

On behalf of President Ma Ying-jeou, Wu will present Pope Francis with a portrait of the Pope painted by Taiwanese artist Liang Dan-feng, according to Vice Foreign Minister Vanessa Shih.

Wu will meet with Taiwanese priests posted in the Vatican, Taiwanese expatriates living there, and foreign priests who have previously worked in Taiwan before returning home April 30, Shih said.

The visit will mark the R.O.C.'s second official delegation to the Holy See since Ma took office in 2008. Ma visited last year to attend the installation of Pope Francis, an event that Shih said highlights the 73-year-long friendship between the two countries.

Wu will be the third R.O.C. vice president to visit the Vatican after Lien Chan in 1997 and Annette Lu in 2002.

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