Robert Redford waited at the Vatican on Wednesday to meet Pope Francis: Here's what he said

Famed actor Robert Redford waited patiently outside the Vatican on Wednesday for the chance to briefly exchange personal words with Pope Francis.

Redford and his wife, German artist Sibylle Szaggars, were spotted in the general audience for the weekly Papal Mass in St. Peter's Square.

The pope, 82, and Redford, 83, clasped hands as Redford said, "Holy Father, my name is Robert Redford and I want to thank you for all you've done for the environment."

"God bless you," Pope Francis responded, and Redford thanked him. The pope then continued with what has become his signature request: "Pray for me."

"I do," Redford replied.

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Robert Redford meets Pope Francis at the Vatican
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Robert Redford meets Pope Francis at the Vatican
US actor and director Robert Redford (R) meets with Pope Francis during the Pope's weekly general audience on December 4, 2019 at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP) (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)
US actor and director Robert Redford (R) meets with Pope Francis during the Pope's weekly general audience on December 4, 2019 at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP) (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)
American retired actor, director and producer Robert Redford attends Pope Francis weekly general audience, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (Photo by Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
American retired actor, director and producer Robert Redford attends Pope Francis weekly general audience, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (Photo by Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
US actor and director Robert Redford (Rear R) waits to meet with Pope Francis (L) during the Pope's weekly general audience on December 4, 2019 at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP) (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)
Pope Francis greets American actor, director and producer Robert Redford at the end of his weekly general audience, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (Photo by Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - 2019/12/04: American actor Robert Redford is seen during the weekly General Audience at St. Peter's Square. The General Audience is held every Wednesday, in Saint Peter's Square, which can accommodate around 80,000 people. (Photo by Giuseppe Ciccia/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Pope Francis' practice of asking Catholics to pray for him is largely unprecedented, and it made headlines in the early stages of his papacy. "Why is Pope Francis asking people to pray for him?" the Washington Post asked in October 2015, explaining via theology professors that his personal understanding of Christianity focuses on the idea of "accompaniment," or working and praying alongside one another.

Redford himself has Irish Catholic heritage, although in a 2007 interview with Playboy he noted that he's found faith not in organized religion but rather in the existing world around him. "I've explored every religion, some very deeply, enough to know there's not one philosophy that can satisfy me. Problems can't be solved with one way of thinking. If anything is my guide, nature is," he said. "That's where my spirituality is."

He continued, "Is there an afterlife? As far as I know, this is it. It's all we’ve got. You take your opportunities and you go for it."

Other famous faces have also personally thanked Pope Francis for his commitment to environmentalism include Leonardo DiCaprio and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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Vintage photos of Robert Redford
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Vintage photos of Robert Redford
Actor Robert Redford in The Way We Were.
Robert Redford (left) as Sundance Kid and Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy in the 1969 western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Paul Newman as Henry Gondorff and Robert Redford as Johnny Hooker in the 1973 film The Sting. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actor Robert Redford on the set of Jeremiah Johnson based on the novel by Vardis Fisher and directed by Sydney Pollack. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
American flm star Robert Redford at the Cannes Film Festival. (Photo by �� Miroslav Zaj��c/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actor, director and producer Robert Redford on the set of his movie Quiz Show based on the book by Richard N. Goodwin. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actor, director and producer Robert Redford. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actor Robert Redford and actress and singer Barbra Streisand on the set of The Way We Were directed by Sydney Pollack. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Robert Redford, moving into the director's chair for the first time, won the Oscar as Best Director for Ordinary People.
(Original Caption) : UNDATED-Robert Redford and Barbara Streisand share a scene in 'The Way We Were.' In 'Big Bad Wolves,' published by Pantheon Books, Joan Mellen writes that 'It is not only Gable who has seen his role in movies as one of perpetuating the image of male power. Robert Redford brings to the screen the same sensibility.' Redford and Streisand are shown embracing in this movie still. Movie released in 1973.
American actor Robert Redford on the set of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid directed by George Roy Hill. (Photo by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Actor Robert Redford. Redford wears a sweater with the letter 'W' on the front and a wide, white collar. ca. 1960's.
Robert Redford as presidential candidate Bill McKay in The Candidate (1972). (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Woodward and Bernstein, the reporters who broke the Watergate scandal, in All the President's Men.
(Original Caption) : REDFORD NARRATES SPECIAL; Actor and environmentalist Robert Redford is the off-camera narrator for 'The Predators,' the special examining the balance between predators and prey in the North American wilderness, to be colorcast on the NBC Television Network Thursday, May 19 (8-9 p.m., NYT). Ca. 1960s-1970s. Filed 4/22/1977.
Robert Redford Leaning on a Brick Wall (Photo by Herbert Dorfman/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actors Darryl Hannah and Robert Redford on the set of Legal Eagles written and directed by Ivan Reitman. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actor Robert Redford on the set of The Electric Horseman directed by Sydney Pollack. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actors Robert Redford and Meryl Streep on the set of Out of Africa based on the book by Karen Blixen and Judith Thurman, and directed by Sydney Pollack. | Location: Shaba National Game Reserve, Kenya. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actors Sidney Poitier and Robert Redford on the set of Sneakers written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
British actor Ralp Fiennes (C), American actors John Turturro and Rob Morrow, surround actor, director and producer Robert Redford, on the set of his movie Quiz Show based on the book by Richard N. Goodwin. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actors Robert Redford and Jane Fonda on the set of The Electric Horseman directed by Sydney Pollack. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
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