Just a few hours before the start of his visit to Cuba and the United States, Pope Francis sent an emotional video message to the Cuban people.
He explains that he is visiting them as a missionary of God's mercy.
"I want to be among you as a missionary of the mercy and tenderness of God. But also allow me to encourage you to be missionaries of the infinite love of God.”
Also included is a message that the Pope describes as "very simple but important and necessary.”
"Jesus loves you very much. Jesus seriously loves you. He always carries you in his heart.”
Saying he appreciates prayers from Cubans ahead of his trip, the Pope adds that Christians need to pray. He asks them to give testimony to the whole world that God always knows how to forgive. He also says to trust in Our Lady of Charity.
"I am also going to go to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of El Cobre as a pilgrim, but more so as a child that hopes to arrive at the house of Mary.”
He concludes by asking viewers to pray for him and he gives his blessing to the Cuban people.