Before hundreds of thousands of people and a gigantic image of the Communist revolutionary fighter Che Guevara, Pope Francis delivered a homily that called on people to not forget the most vulnerable in society.
"Serving others chiefly means caring for their vulnerability. Caring for the vulnerable of our families, our society, our people... Being a Christian entails promoting the dignity of our brothers and sisters, fighting for it, living for it.”
The importance of a nation is derived from how well it helps the most needy, the Pope said. Service must be free and done for the sake of love. It also should serve people, not ideas or ideologies.
"Service is never ideological, for we do not serve ideas, we serve people...Whatever wishes to be great must serve others, not be served by others...There is a kind of 'service' which truly 'serves,' yet we need to be careful not to be tempted by another kind of service, a 'service' which is 'self-serving.' There is a way to go about serving which is interested in only helping 'my people,' 'our people.' This service always leaves 'your people' outside, and gives rise to a process of exclusion.”
Pope Francis concluded his Homily by saying that "whoever does not live to serve, does not 'serve' to live.”
At the end of the service, Pope Francis sent a special message to peace negotiators from the Colombian government and the rebel group FARC. He told the negotiators, who are working in Cuba, that the war must end.
"Please, we do not have the right to allow ourselves yet another failure on this path of peace and reconciliation.”
Plaza de la Revolución is one of the most well-known sites in Cuba. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI both celebrated Mass in the square during their visits to the island.