(WAFB) - Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards met with Pope Francis on Wednesday during a visit to Italy to discuss human trafficking prevention.
Edwards and other state leaders, including Col. Mike Edmonson, superintendent of Louisiana State Police, left for Rome on Friday. The group asked the Pope to bless the pioneering work going on in Louisiana to prevent human trafficking and to protect victims of human trafficking.
Work being done in Louisiana includes special training for police officers and the opening of a shelter for 16 young women in a secure location near Baton Rouge.
The Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy also traveled with the governor. They worked with the governor to establish Metanoia Manor, the shelter for human trafficking victims.
Edwards and his wife, Donna, were invited to a special meeting with Pope Francis to discuss further cooperation between churches and the state to combat human trafficking.