Monday March 26, 2012, at 2:00 PM, Holy Father Benedict XVI arrived in the Cuban archipelago, Santiago de Cuba. He officiated at Mass in Antonio Maceo Plaza of this city and honored our patron saint, the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, with the Golden Rose in the Jubilee Year four hundred years after the discovery of her image in the waters of the Bay Nipe.
The visit of this religious dignity to any place in the world, for what it represents, it obliges all flags to be dipped as a sign of respect to the 265th Successor of Peter. In Cuba, and elsewhere, for most Cubans, this is a unique opportunity for religious celebration and reaffirmation of faith and hope.
In his first homily to the people the key words sent to us by the Pope were peace, love, harmony and reconciliation. If the visit of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II marked a before and after in our recent history, we hope that this one now will imprint a new motivation and new impetus to the transformations that the nation urgently needs, indeed, with all and for the good of all.
A persistent rain said goodbye to His Holiness John Paul II in January 1998 and he announced that this manifested the Holy Spirit to us. Rain, even today, accompanied the Pope in the plaza in Santiago; we Christians pray because this has been the continuity of the Grace of the Holy Spirit for all Cubans.
27 March 2012