June 1, 2011 at 9:21 AM ET
Wednesday found Matt and Al in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, where they joined a crowd of thousands listening to an address from Pope Benedict XVI, and afterward shared a private moment with the pontiff and Archbishop Timothy Dolan. And they did not come empty-handed: Because the pope is known to be a cat lover, Matt explained to Meredith, they presented him with "a beautiful crystal cat."
It was only a prelude to what Matt called an "extraordinary" edition of TODAY planned for Thursday, during which viewers will share Matt and Al's audience with the Pope Benedict and get a rare look at the pontiff in his private residence. Watch the video: