Leonardo DiCaprio meets Pope Francis at the Vatican

Oscar-nominated actor Leonardo DiCaprio met Pope Francis today in a private audience at the Vatican.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Pope Francis met today for 15 minutes. The two share a mutual concern for the environment.Reuters

The two reportedly spent 15 minutes together and were accompanied by DiCaprio's father, George, and Milutin Gatsby, head of global fundraising for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

According to reports, the actor kissed the Pope's ring upon his arrival and said in Italian: "Your Holiness, thank you for granting me this private audience with you."

Video footage issued by Vatican television showed DiCaprio giving Francis a book of paintings by 16th Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch.

He pointed to one particular painting, the 'Garden of Earthly Delights', telling the Pope that it had hung on the wall over his bed as a young boy.

"As a child I didn't quite understand what it all meant, but through my child's eyes it represented our planet, the utopia we had been given, the overpopulation, excesses, and in the third panel we see a blackened sky that represents so much to me of what's going in in the environment," DiCaprio said. The actor, like the Pope, is known for his concern about climate change.

"It represents to me the promise of the future and enlightenment and it is representational of your view here as well," he added.

DiCaprio also gave the Pontiff a cheque for an undisclosed sum, which he asked to be used for a charity "close to your heart".

In return, the Pope gave the actor a copy of his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, in addition to a copy of his earlier work, Evangelii gaudium. He also reportedly asked DiCaprio to pray for him.