The 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s historic visit to Cuba is a moment to reflect on his legacy and message of faith and hope. Commemorating this event, Pope Francis has sent a message of support and blessing through Cardinal Beniamino Stella, who at the time was a firsthand witness of the visit.
During his homily in 1998, Pope John Paul II highlighted the importance of Christian faith in the formation of the Cuban nation and highlighted some of its religious and historical leaders, including Father Claret. The Pope emphasized following Father Claret’s legacy as a missionary and working to spread the Kingdom of God on the island. The presence of the Claretian Missionaries in Cuba is a concrete example of this, with four communities serving three parishes and a sanctuary, among other needs.
In his message, Pope Francis has encouraged the Cuban community to return to their Christian and Cuban roots, that is, to their own identity. The Pope has also exhorted the Cuban community to follow Pope John Paul II’s words to face the challenges of the present with strength and justice, and work to build a more dignified and free future.
In summary, both Pontiffs have sent a message of hope and faith to the Cubans, highlighting the importance of religion in the formation of the Cuban nation and the legacy of Father Claret as a religious leader and missionary.
Photos of the Visit of Pope John Paul II in the Nunciature of Cuba with Clareitans in 1998