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An island of hope

· Arriving in Santiago de Cuba after saying farewell to Mexico ·

Cuba, island of wonders and pirates, island of Márquez and Hemingway, of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, of Felix Varela and José Martí, enchantment and delusion, a legend to some, a prison to  others, and  today it is found to be an island of hope. It is a hope sprung from the warm embrace reserved to the Padrecito blanco , who comes in the name of Mary to celebrate what seems to be a new spring.

The Cuban's meeting with the Pope, just arrived in Santiago de Cuba,  strongly desired, stirs up the memory those days in January, 1998, when John Paul II, in that same Plaza de la Revolución where Benedict XVI  will celebrate Mass in Havana on Wednesday morning, his second Mass on the island, fed the the light of a faith, hidden perhaps but never extinguished. That same faith accompanied, accompanies now and will continue to accompany the Cuban people on their journey towards a better future which everyone wants, despite the renunciations more or less obligatory,  of the challenges old and new and of the many sacrifices awaiting them still.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 19, 2018

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