During her 2009 with Pope Benedict, Michelle followed the same tradition. But after a half-hour meeting behind closed doors, Francis seemed to have cheered up considerably.
To show you the depravity of the human heart, I'd rather join a séance with the attractive but evil Trump ladies than have an audience with Pope Francis.
After meeting the Pope, Trump tweeted Honor of a lifetime to meet His Holiness Pope Francis.
In the past year, Pope Francis and Mr Trump have swopped jibes and debated on subjects ranging from migration to unbridled capitalism, as well as the environment. "They're using the pope as a pawn, and they should be ashamed of themselves - that's the Mexican government".
"We can use peace", Trump commented. "I hope you do", Trump said.
Writings on family, the Christian Gospel, and the recent World Day of Peace message - personally signed - were among the Pope's other gifts to Trump, who gave the religious leader books by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Their meeting Wednesday was cordial, if not effusively friendly.
The Pope joked around with the president and his wife after their meeting. In return, the Pope gave Trump an olive tree medal that symbolizes peace.
Trump will later meet Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. "In that way, there's another parallel between Jackie's meeting with the pope 55 years ago and Melania's exchange with this Pope about her husband's eating habits, in that both women brought out the lighter side to what is a very heavy, tradition-filled meeting".
He later flew to Brussels where he was to meet Belgium's king and prime minister on Wednesday evening before a day of meetings with European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders on Thursday.
While Trump received warm welcomes in Riyadh and Jerusalem, the reception could grow cooler now that he's reached Europe, the site of widespread protests after his election. Climate change activists projected the words "Planet Earth First" on the massive dome of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Tuesday night as Trump arrived in Rome. Foreign women are not expected to wear headscarves, but the move contradicted President Donald Trump's old criticism of former First Lady Michelle Obama for making a similar decision.