Beyond division and prejudice
· At Holguín the Pope calls for overcoming resistance to change and for being transformed by the love of Christ. And he asks the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre to make Cuba a home of brothers and sisters ·
The fourth and final day of Pope Francis' visit in Cuba, Tuesday, 22 September, began in the Marian capital of the country, known for its shrine of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre.
In Santiago de Cuba, the Pontiff — who will soon leave the island and travel to the United States of America — celebrated Mass in the basilica dedicated to Our Lady. There he recalled how the spirit of the people has been forged by pain and deprivation, however their faith has not burned out. The people's faith, he said, has endured thanks to many women, including mothers and grandmothers, who continued to keep God's presence alive. The Holy Father expressed his desire for a “revolution of tenderness” which always becomes closeness and compassion. A necessary revolution — he said on Monday in Holguín — to overcome prejudice and resistance to change. On the Feast of St Matthew, the Pontiff celebrated Mass with great participation from the Cuban people.
From Holguín Francis travelled to El Cobre, where he had a private meeting with the Bishops' Conference of Cuba and then invited them to accompany him to the minor basilica dedicated to the Patroness of Cuba. Renewing the prayer of John Paul II from 1998, he implored the Virgin of Charity to reunite and reconcile the people of Cuba, making their island into a home of brothers and sisters.
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