After appearing at a screening of her latest directorial effort, the WWII epic 'Unbroken, in Rome, Italy, Angelina Jolie was lucky enough to be given a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday (Jan 8th).

Angleina Jolie
Jolie met Pope Francis on Thursday (Jan 8th)

Although it was initially thought that her husband Brad Pitt would also be present during the special meet-and-greet, he was absent when the 39 year-old actress met with the leader of the Catholic Church after showing the WWII biopic at the to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

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

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"Pope Francis, aware of the incredible life story of Louis Zamperini, graciously welcomed the opportunity to view the film and is expected to attend the screening at the Casina Pio IV, headquarters of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences," Universal Pictures Italia added.

'Unbroken' stars Jack O'Connell as Olympic athlete Louie Zamperini. Based on a true story, the film centres on Zamperini's experience in the Second World War including surviving a plane crash in the Pacific, 47 days adrift at sea and two and a half years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp.

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Chancellor of Pontifical Academy of Sciences Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez-Sorondo also said: "Through her work at the U.N. she told him he was a leader for these people and an important help for them. Unbroken made a big impression [on those who saw it at the Vatican today]. It is very significant and a very strong film."

Along with Jolie, Zamperini's son Luke was also in attendance for the big face-to-face meet.