Pope calls for ‘revolution of tenderness’ in Cuba

Categories: Latest News

September 22, 2015

People cheer as Pope Francis drives past in El Cobre, Cuba, Sept. 21. The pope visited and prayed at the shrine in El Cobre dedicated to Our Lady of Charity, patroness of Cuba. (CNS photo/Carlos Garcia Rawlins, Reuters)

People cheer as Pope Francis drives past in El Cobre, Cuba, Sept. 21. The pope visited and prayed at the shrine in El Cobre dedicated to Our Lady of Charity, patroness of Cuba. (CNS photo/Carlos Garcia Rawlins, Reuters)

SANTIAGO, Cuba (CNS) — Pope Francis called Cuban to a “revolution of tenderness” as he celebrated Mass in the Minor Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, the country’s patroness.

While only about 60 percent of Cubans are baptized Catholics, the little statue of Our Lady of Charity, discovered 400 years ago, is also a widely recognized symbol of Cuban identity and of strength despite struggle.

Archbishop Dionisio Garcia Ibanez of Santiago, president of the Cuban bishops’ conference, told the pope at the end of Mass, “Believers and nonbelievers consider her a clear symbol of Cuban identity because in her we see reflected the greatness yearnings and aspirations of our people.”

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