After his meeting with men and women religious, Pope Francis went to the Fr. Felix Varela Cultural Center to meet with young people. Before he spoke, he stopped to hug a young man in a wheelchair.
Another youth delivered testimony about what life is like for young Cubans. The young man acknowledged that life is hard on the island, and sometimes it is difficult to keep the faith. However, he said, "This hectic life does not make us lose the joy of living.”
"Today we want to not only introduce you to our dreams, but we also ask for your prayers for our Cuban families, our friends and our acquaintances who are in the country or who have emigrated.”
After a long day, the Pope admitted that he needed to sit down while he spoke. But his mental energy was still strong. He set aside his prepared remarks and gave an impassioned speech about the importance of dreaming.
"A strong word: dream. A Latin American writer said that we people have two eyes: one of flesh and one of glass. With the eye of flesh we see what we watch. With the eye of glass we see what we dream. That's nice, yes?”
There was a light rain in Havana while he spoke but the Pope didn't use an umbrella. He said that while it may seem difficult, young people could in fact improve the world.
"Open yourself, open yourself, and dream. Dream that the world with you can be different. Dream that you are going to help make the world better. Don't forget it.”
After his remarks, he made a familiar request: the Pope asked for people to pray for him. And he also made sure the non-believers in the audience felt included.
"Well, I am going to say good bye and I wish you well. I wish you all well, like I said. I am going to pray for you. And I ask that you pray for me. And if some of you are not believers, at least send good vibes my way.”
The meeting marked a wet ending for the Pope's first full day in Cuba. He will rest overnight and then head to the city of Holguin for a major outdoor Mass.