At 9:30 a.m. September 5 local time (3:30 p.m. September 5, Taipei time), Vice President Chen Chien-jen and Mrs. Chen arrived at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican to attend a Mass of Thanksgiving for the canonization of Mother Teresa, which was presided by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin at 10:00 a.m.
Vice President and Mrs. Chen made sure to arrive early for the mass so they could exchange greetings with others in attendance, including: Sister Mary Prema Pierick, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity; Carlos Avila Molina, Ambassador of Honduras to the Holy See; Miroslava Rosas Vargas, Ambassador of Panama to the Holy See; Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok, Ambassador of Malaysia to the Holy See; Yoshio Matthew Nakamura, Ambassador of Japan to the Holy See; and Neven Pelicaric, Ambassador of Croatia to the Holy See.
Vice President and Mrs. Chen were then escorted by a protocol officer to receive holy communion from a co-celebrant at the mass. After the conclusion of the mass, Monsignor Jose Avelino Bettencourt, Head of the Protocol Office at the Vatican State Secretariat, accompanied them to shake hands and exchange pleasantries with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
Vice President and Mrs. Chen then proceeded to the ROC Embassy to the Holy See for a visit.
After arriving at the embassy, Vice President Chen was introduced to embassy officers and staff by ROC Ambassador to the Holy See Matthew S.M. Lee (李世明), who then led the vice president on a tour of the premises. The vice president enthused about the embassy's excellent location right near St. Peter's Square and the Via della Conciliazione, and said it was especially gratifying to see that the ROC flag was easily visible from far off in its position high above the embassy walls.
Ambassador Lee then reported to the vice president that the embassy frequently receives guests from Taiwan, and briefed him on various services provided. Whenever Catholic groups, performing arts troupes, and other groups visit the Vatican or perform in Italy, the ROC embassy provides assistance, which Vice President Chen noted with satisfaction.
After finishing the embassy tour, Vice President Chen—accompanied by National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Tseng Hou-jen (曾厚仁), Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Chih-chung (吳志中), and Ambassador Lee—proceeded to Domus Internationalis Paulus VI hotel, where he attended a luncheon along with many senior members of the clergy, including: Giuseppe Cardinal Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Oscar Andrés Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga, former president of Caritas Internationalis and current coordinator of the Council of Cardinals; Giovanni Battista Cardinal RE, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops; Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses; and Jean-Marie Musivi Mpendawatu, Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry.
The vice president chatted pleasantly during the luncheon with the aforenamed senior Vatican clergy members. The atmosphere at this event was relaxed and friendly.