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Rome Reports

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Pope asks Raul Castro to declare Good Friday a national holiday in Cuba

When John Paul II visited the country back in 1998, then president, Fidel Castro, declared Christmas a national holiday, at the request of the Pontiff.

It has also been confirmed that Fidel Castro will meet with Benedict XVI on Wednesday, before ; celebrating Mass in Havana?s Revolution Square.

The Cuban government has been criticized for marginalizing religion, but Benedict XVI hopes his visit will strengthen the faith of Cuban Catholics.