Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

February 3, 1999, Cuba Free Press.

SANTIAGO CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY OF PAPAL VISIT By Margarita Yero, Cuba Free Press.

HAVANA - A solemn mass was held in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Charity on Last Jan. 24 in commemoration of the first anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II to the island. Archbishop Pedro Meurice of the Santiago archdiocese presided over the services.

Beginning early on that Sunday morning, people gathered from all walks of life, including independent journalists, other dissidents and members of groups in opposition to the regime. The faithful expressed their devotion to the virgin patroness of their church by singing songs, reciting prayers and offering flowers.

At one point in the ceremonies, a procession entered the church amidst cheers from the attendees on behalf of the saint, the pope and the church. Leading the procession were the seminary students, followed by the priests. Following the group was the archbishop accompanied by an Argentine priest on each side. The latter had been invited especially to the celebration.

During his homily, Father Meurice said that "when the pope spoke about the Virgin of Our Lady of Charity of el Cobre" (the town of Copper), he said that she is the symbol and the support for the faith of the Cuban people, and the symbol and the support of the Cuban people's struggle for liberty." He said that was a message that "should awaken our souls."

Margarita Yero, Cuba Free Press.


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