His Holiness, the first Latin American Pope, stressed the impetus of Cubans in the face of everyday difficulties and said that his knowing of this makes him feel good.
I wish to send you fraternal greetings before we personally meet, he said and expressed his appreciation for the preparations for his visit.
I want to be among you as a missionary of mercy and he also encouraged Cubans to be missionaries of God´s love. He also said that he will visit the Shrine of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre as one more pilgrim, like a son wishing to come to his mom´s home.
During his stay in Cuba, Pope Francis will officiate mass at Havana´s Revolution Square, on September 20, also in eastern Holguin City the next day and at El Cobre, Santiago de Cuba on September 22.
Francis will pay a courtesy visit to President Raul Castro in Havana and will meet with priests, and religious people at Havana´s Cathedral.