The Catholic Church and Cuba

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From the Editor’s Desk (Monday, 09-21-2015, Gaudium Press) Pope Francis is the third Pope to visit the island of Cuba. Two other Pontiffs have done it previously, Pope John Paul II in 1998 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.

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Last Saturday, 19 of September, Pope Francis arrived in Havana, coming directly from Rome. This is the 10th Apostolic trip of Pope Francis. He was greeted at the José Marti Airport where a welcoming ceremony took place. On Sunday morning, September 20, the Pope celebrated the Eucharist at the “Plaza de la Revolucion” (Square of the Revolution) and later in the evening attended Vespers at the Cathedral, followed by a greeting to young people.

On Monday 21, Pope Francis is scheduled, according to his official agenda, to celebrate Mass at the “Plaza de la Revolucion Calixto Garcia” (Square of the Revolution Calixto Garcia).Cobre.png

On Tuesday, 22, the Holy Father will visit and celebrate Mass at the Sanctuary of the “Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre”, patroness of Cuba, near Santiago de Cuba. In 1608, three native Indians, Rodrigo, Juan de Hoyos and Juan Moreno, were looking for salt at the Bay of Nipe and a storm threatened them torn their frail canoe and die. When calm was restores they found on the sea a statue of the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus on her right arm, which was not even wet. The statue was attached to a plank on which it was written: “Yo soy la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre” (I am the Virgin of Charity of Cobre). She was declared the Patroness of Cuba, after independence, by Pope Benedict XV in 1906. On the same day Pope Francis will meet with some families in the Cathedral of the Assumption.

On that same evening he will head to the United States, where he will remain until Sunday 27th. His visit will end with his participation at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. (EPC)

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