Pope Francis visits final day of ESC 2016

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ROME - His Holiness Pope Francis visited the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) congress on its final day, giving a short address to attendees at the meeting.

The pope traveled through the halls of ESC 2016 in a golf cart, and received a gift from cardiologists -- a stethoscope. In a speech to ESC attendees, he reportedly told them he was thankful for their work, as "I've been in the hands of some of you," according to tweets from the appearance.

Pope Francis visiting ESC.Pope Francis visiting ESC.

“You look after the heart,” he told the cardiologists. “How much symbolism is enshrined in this word! How many hopes are contained in this human organ! In your hands you hold the beating core of the human body, and as such your responsibility is very great!”

Pope Francis added: “The Magisterium of the Church has always affirmed the importance of scientific research for human life and health. The Church not only accompanies you along this demanding path, but also promotes your cause and wishes to support you.”

Before the pope's speech, outgoing ESC President Dr. Fausto Pinto said ESC and the Vatican share the same basic aims: to relieve distress and suffering, and to encourage people to lead healthy, active lives. Pinto is dean of the faculty of medicine of the University of Lisbon and a professor of cardiology.

In other news from the final day of the congress, it was confirmed the new ESC president will be Dr. Jeroen Bax, from Leiden in the Netherlands, whose term of office lasts until 2018.

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