Faith

Melania Trump Unveils Her Religion

During the papal visit this week, first lady asked the pope to bless her rosary and wore all black, honoring tradition

First lady Melania Trump revealed that she is Catholic. The United Kingdom’s Daily Mail broke the news.

On Wednesday, Mrs. Trump traveled with her husband to the Vatican in Rome.

“I was humbled by the honor. Blessings to all.”

“Today’s visit with His Holiness Pope Francis @Pontifex is one I’ll never forget,” Melania Trump tweeted on May 24. “I was humbled by the honor. Blessings to all.”

During her interactions with the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Melania asked the pope to bless a rosary for her. The pope blessed her string of prayer beads.

“It’s unclear when Mrs. Trump became a Catholic,” The Daily Mail noted. “The president is a lifelong Presbyterian, and they were married in a Florida Episcopal church.”

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Related: Trump’s Newfound Faith in the Oval Office

Both Melania and first daughter Ivanka Trump wore black dresses and head veils while visiting with the pope — a sign of reverence and respect during the holy visit. Other first ladies before Melania Trump’s time in the White House set the precedent of wearing black garb when meeting the pope in the Vatican.

“Celebrities made fun of first lady Melania Trump and first daughter Ivanka for wearing all-black dresses and veils to their papal visit,” Maureen Collins blogged on conservative platform Media Research Center’s site MRC-TV. “Celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton asked in a now-deleted tweet why the two women looked like they were dressed for a funeral. Actor George Takei made a similar observation, tweeting a picture of Melania and Ivanka with the question, ‘Who died? Oh yes, DEMOCRACY.'”

Melania’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, confirmed with the Daily Mail on Wednesday that Mrs. Trump is indeed a practicing Catholic.

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There’s been some hubbub over the fact that Melania did not wear a headscarf in a Muslim-dominated region during the first stop of the nine-day presidential tour in the Middle East and Europe.

“Some criticized her for not covering her hair during a visit to the Western Wall, part of a destroyed Jewish temple complex, or while in Saudi Arabia,” National Public Radio pointed out. “Others praised Trump for not covering up in Saudi Arabia, seeing the move as a nod to women’s empowerment, which she promoted on the trip.”

Related: Here’s What Left a Lasting Impression on Trump in Israel 

During the presidential stop last weekend in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Mrs. Trump did not wear a headscarf. She did, however, wear an appropriately fitted dress that covered her arms and legs.

“In Saudi Arabia, Muslim women are said to be required to wear a headscarf, but foreigners aren’t required to adhere to the same dress code,” The Washington Post reported. “Like Trump, former first ladies Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush also visited the country without wearing a headscarf.”

Former first lady Michelle Obama did not wear a headscarf, either, on a visit to Saudi Arabia in 2015.

“Many people are saying it was wonderful that Mrs. Obama refused to wear a scarf in Saudi Arabia, but they were insulted. We have enuf enemies,” Donald Trump tweeted in January 2015.

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