While visiting Rome, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan took a trip to the #Vatican to visit Pope Francis in a private audience. During his visit the #Facebook founder spoke of his admiration for the Vatican’s dream of alleviating poverty. Mark told Pope Francis that he truly admires his message of tenderness and mercy and the way the Pontiff can communicate and get through to people of varying faiths in the world.

To show his commitment to the cause of alleviating poverty, Zuck gave the Pope a scale model of Facebook’s Aquila solar-powered, #internet-sharing drone. Aquila has been designed to give access to internet connectivity in places in the world that don’t currently have it.

The Vatican and Pope Francis acknowledged the Facebook founder’s visit

The Holy See Press Office has released a statement, acknowledging the fact that Pope Francis spoke with Zuckerberg on how Facebook will use communication technologies in an effort to alleviate the problems caused by poverty and to launch a culture of encounter in the world, delivering a message of hope to those who most need it. As reported by Fast Company, Zuckerberg, for his part, made a post on the social media platform showing an image of him presenting the Pope with his gift.

As reported by RT News, the Facebook Connectivity Lab is widely investing in new technologies to give access to the World Wide Web to more than 1.6 billion people in the most remote regions of the world. Currently Facebook is focusing on producing satellites, aircraft such as the Aquila drone and wireless technology to connect those who currently have no access to the Internet.

Facebook Connectivity Lab tested Aquila last month

The social media giant ran its first full test flight of the solar-powered drone during July and say that if everything goes to plan, Aquila will beam the internet to a region roughly 60 miles in diameter, using laser communications from an altitude of over 60,000 feet. The company said in a statement last month that the drone is designed for hyper-efficiency and can fly using solar power for as much as three months at a time.