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President Díaz-Canel recalls Pope John Paul II’s visit to Cuba

President Díaz-Canel recalls Pope John Paul II’s visit to Cuba

Havana, Jan 21 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel recalled the pastoral trip made to the island by Pope John Paul II, from January 21 to 25, 1998.

In his Twitter profile, the Cuban leader recalled that 25 years ago ‘Pope John Paul II began his historic pastoral visit to #Cuba. During five days he remained in the country, officiating open masses in several provinces’.

Díaz-Canel added that his successors Benedict XVI (March 2012) and Francis (September 2015) also visited the Island.

In Cuba, John Paul II, Pope 264 of the Catholic Church, received a massive hospitality, offered several masses and met with the historical leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro.

Fidel Castro said, while welcoming him: ‘The land you have just kissed is honored by your presence (…) Your Holiness, we think the same as you on many important world issues (…); in others, our opinions differ, but we respectfully worship the deep conviction with which you defend your ideas’.

May Cuba open itself to the world with all its magnificent possibilities, and may the world open itself to Cuba’ was the public request of His Holiness John Paul II on that occasion.

John Paul II died in Vatican City on April 2, 2005 at the age of 85 after more than 26 years of pontificate, from 1978 until his death, and was the second longest-living pope, only surpassed by Pius IX (1846-1878). Karol Wojtyla was the first non-Italian pope after the Dutch Hadrian VI (1522-1523) and the only one to date of Polish origin. He was canonized by Pope Francis on April 27, 2014 as St. John Paul II.


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