Francis suggested past year that Mr Trump was "not Christian" because of his plans to keep out migrants with a wall on the Mexican border, and the two men are at odds over climate change, which the United States president has described as a "Chinese hoax".
Under clear blue skies, Mr Trump, who exchanged sharp words with the pope during the U.S. election campaign past year, received a tribute from the Swiss Guard in a Vatican courtyard when he arrived to meet the pope. The President greeted Francis in Sala del Tronetto, the room of the little throne, on the second floor of Apostolic Palace Wednesday morning.
"He is something", the president later said of his host.
While Donald dropped in on Italy's President and met Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Melania visited a children's hospital and Ivanka met women trafficked from Africa for the sex trade.
The president responded, "We can use peace".
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Trump's visit to the Vatican is part of his first trip overseas as president, and follows an initial leg in Saudi Arabia and a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories. The leader arrived with First Lady Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Part of Trump's motivation for meeting the pope was to dramatise how the three major religions should rally against the threat from Islamist militants.
The pope handed out rosaries to members of the delegation before the group posed for pictures following which the Pope bid farewell to the president and his wife.
Trump, seeming subdued, said "it is a great honour". "We can use peace", Trump replied.
"He is something", Trump said of the pope.
The pope in 2016 said a man who thinks about building walls and not bridges is "not Christian", a sharp reprimand for Trump's vow to build a wall along the USA border with Mexico.
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I wish he would pass the information to the heads of the EPA, Energy Department and other agencies for their benefit, but they weren't selected for having open minds on the subject.
Neither Trump nor the pope revealed what their conversation entailed and neither the White House nor the Vatican offered any immediate clues, leaving those curious about the first meeting between the two starkly different world leaders thirsting for more.
In a statement, the Vatican said it is also "hoped that there may be serene collaboration" between the Church and the Trump administration "in the fields of healthcare, education and assistance to immigrants". The first lady Melania Trump's outfit was another focal point on the social platform. "Thank you. I won't forget what you said". "I'll be your translator" Miles told Trump as the meeting got underway.
Pope Francis meeting President Barack Obama in March 2014.
Donald Trump met Pope Francis for the first time today on the latest leg of the president's maiden foreign tour.
"No president has ever visited the homelands and holy sites of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslims faiths all on one trip", said US National Security Advisor HR McMaster, describing Trump as bringing "a message of tolerance and of hope to billions".
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He said the apparent success of the meeting does not "erase the fundamental differences of opinion between the two" but "sets the stage for future dialogue". The pope also addressed another important topic: the president's diet.