Pope Francis ended his visit to the Cuban city of Holguin by blessing the city from Loma de la Cruz. Afterward, he arrived in the city of Santiago for what would be his final night in the country. He prayed to Cuba's patroness, Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre.
Leaving flowers at her feet, he silently prayed for seven minutes. His visit concluded when he recited a prayer in support of reconciliation among the Cuban people.
"Make the nation of Cuban a home of brothers and sisters so that the people of this nation open their mind, hearts, and lives to Christ.”
The following day, while celebrating Mass, he praised the faith of elderly Cubans who have kept the faith alive in the country, in spite of repression and other difficulties.
"They kept open a tiny space, small as a mustard seed, through which the Holy Spirit continued to accompany the heartbeat of this people.”
At the end of his Homily, Pope Francis quoted the document that is essentially his manifesto, "Evangelii Gaudium.” He said that tenderness and affection are revolutionary and that faith is a stimulus that helps to lift people up and build bridges.
"Our revolution comes about through tenderness, through the joy which always becomes closeness and compassion, and leads us to get involved in, and to serve, the life of others.”
Before the patroness of the country, the Pope wanted to leave a message of faith and unity.
About two million Cubans have left the island since the revolution in 1959. Most have relocated to the United States, particularly Florida.