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Pope to Cubans: “I have also prayed...for those who suffer and are deprived of freedom”

2012-03-27

Benedict XVI
“I have also prayed to the Virgin for the needs of those who suffer, of those who are deprived of freedom, those who are separated from their loved ones or who are undergoing times of difficulty.”

The story behind that sanctuary goes back centuries. Back in 1684 three fishermen survived a dangerous storm. Afterward, the found a statue of Our Lady out in the ocean. The image had the words, “I am the Virgin of Charity.” That same statue is now in the Sanctuary.
Cuban bishops also attended the ceremony.  The Pope told them, and the crowd, that  Our Lady is a sign of hope, especially for younger generations.

Benedict XVI
“I have placed in her Immaculate Heart your young people, that they may be authentic friends of Christ and not succumb to things which bring sadness in their wake.”

Benedict XVI said the prayer of Our Lady of Charity before lighting a candle and praying before her. He also referenced religious freedom, by praying for those who celebrate Mass in their home or in centers.

Benedict XVI
“And I cannot forget the many country people and their families who wish to live the Gospel deeply in their homes and who offer their homes as mission centers for the celebration of Mass.”

After the ceremony, the Pope greeted Cuban faithful who were gathered outside the Sanctuary.
He then urged them to work justice and charity, with Christ, even amid the every day challenges they face.

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