Skip to comments.Pope Benedict XVI Visit to the Shrine of the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre
Posted on 03/27/2012 11:24:15 AM PDT by NYer
Pope Benedict XVI kneels at the sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre in El Cobre village on the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba March 27, 2012.
Visit to the Shrine of the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre
On Tuesday morning, 27 March 2012, the Holy Father visited the house of the statue of Our Lady of Charity, where he entrusted to her the future of their country and encouraged them to build their lives on Christ, following the the Virgin's example.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I have come as a pilgrim to the house of the blessed statue of Our Lady of Charity, la Mambisa as you call upon her with affection. Her presence in this town of El Cobre is a gift from heaven for all Cubans.
I am pleased to offer cordial greetings to everyone here present. Receive the affection of the Pope and carry it with you from this place, so that everyone can experience consolation and strength in faith. Let all those you meet know, whether near or far, that I have entrusted to the Mother of God the future of your country, advancing along the ways of renewal and hope, for the greater good of all Cubans. I have also prayed to the Virgin for the needs of those who suffer, of those who are deprived of freedom, those who are separated from their loved ones or who are undergoing times of difficulty. I have placed in her Immaculate Heart your young people, that they may be authentic friends of Christ and not succumb to things which bring sadness in their wake. Before Mary of Charity, I remember in a particular way Cubans who are the descendents of those who arrived here from Africa, and the nearby people of Haiti, who still suffer the consequences of the earthquake of two years ago. And I cannot forget the many country people and their families who wish to live the Gospel deeply in their homes and who offer their homes as mission centres for the celebration of Mass.
Following the example of the Most Holy Virgin, I encourage all the sons and daughters of this dear country to continue to build their lives on the firm rock which is Jesus Christ, to work for justice, to be servants of charity and to persevere in the midst of trials. May nothing or no one take from you your inner joy which is so characteristic of the Cuban soul. May God bless you. Thank you very much.
Our Lady of Charity
PATRONESS OF CUBA
About 1600, two native Indians, Rodrigo and Juan de Hoyos, along with a ten-year-old slave boy, Juan Moreno, were looking for salt to preserve the meat of the Barajagua slaughter house, which supplied the workers and inhabitants of "Santiago del Prado," now known as "El Cobre." That day they had approached Cayo Francés, halfway across the Bay of Nipe, where they stopped to escape a tremendous storm which threatened their frail canoe.
At daybreak the weather was again calm, and they set off upon the sea. At a distance, they saw a white object, which appeared to be a bird floating on the waves and coming towards them slowly. As it drew closer, it seemed to be a girl until they realized it was a statue of the Virgin Mary holding the child on her right arm and with a gold cross in her left hand. The statue was fastened to a board with the inscription, "I am the Virgin of Charity."
According to the sworn testimony of witnesses, despite the recent storm and the motion of the waves, neither the figure of the Virgin, nor her clothing, was wet.
The image's original clothing was white, but the faithful have given her gold and silver colored robes. Because Our Lady of Charity is a symbol of Cuban nationality, popular statues give her a white robe, a blue cloak and have the Child dressed in red: the colors of the Cuban flag. At present the Virgin's dress, a copy of a very early one, is of heavy lamé with gold threads, and has the national Cuban shield embroidered on the skirt.
The pious faithful are devoted to the image of their "Cachita" with the small boat at her feet and in it the "Three Juans" who found her floating on the water. This detail is omitted in the oldest reproductions which copied the original statue.
At the request of the veterans of the War of Independence, Our Lady of Charity was declared the patroness of Cuba by Benedict XV in 1916 and solemnly crowned in the Eucharistic Congress held in Santiago de Cuba in 1936. Pope Paul VI raised her sanctuary to the category of Basilica in 1977.
Pope is wasting his time. To the Cubans, “Cachita” is really Ochun, the African version of Aphrodite, born of the sea, a goddess of love and pleasure. There hasn’t been real Catholicism in Cuba for a hundred years - it’s a syncrenetic culture.
.- As Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Cuba nears, local leaders of peaceful dissent say families were key to maintaining the country's Catholicism amid government repression.
The process of de-Christianization was one of the initial objectives of the regime and was maintained for decades, because they knew that they could not dominate the people of Cuba if they did not empty them spiritually first, said Oswaldo Paya, global director of the Christian Liberation Movement.
And I dont think they were successful thanks to families, Paya told CNA.
His remarks on former president Fidel Castro's 1950s revolution and subsequent regime come as Pope Benedict heads to Mexico today for a visit that will include traveling to Cuba from March 26-29.
For decades the State religion in schools has been atheism, Paya said. For many years, fifth grade textbooks claimed that science had proven that Jesus Christ never existed. In other words, they even falsified history.
The result of this effort was that at one point only around 40,000 people attended Sunday Mass, because we were marked, blacklisted in schools, universities and places of work.
It was a systematically anti-religious system that was supported by all the mechanisms of repression of a totalitarian regime, he explained.
But the Church continued to evangelize, we continue teaching the Catechism even though few children came to church.
Jose Daniel Ferrer, the leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, agreed with Paya and said Catholic families are crucial. He noted that his own daughter, who is about to finish high school, continues receiving an Atheist, Marxist education that is contrary to Christian principles.
Ferrer said that during the eight years he spent as a political prisoner, his wife and his sister worked to counteract this teaching with books, Christian literature and stories.
But it is hard because they are children and they spend most of the week in schools where everything is politicized, he said.
Ferrer encouraged parents to put the words of John Paul II into practice when he called on the faithful to demand respect for our right to choose the kind of education that we want for our children, because that is the foundation of the great moral, political, social and economic problem of our country.
For Paya, modern Cuba is complex. Despite more freedom of worship and less repression for those who practice their faith, the Department of Religious Affairs, which keeps the Church and our communities under observation, continues to exist.
But he noted that while teachers are still cautious, they are expressing their faith and no longer give in so easily to repressing children who are believers.
While present-day Cuban society has bears the marks of a very strong, very systematic de-Christianization process, it also has a Christian memory and religiosity that could not be uprooted, Paya said.
An example of this is the pilgrimage of the statue of Our Lady of Charity throughout Cuba, with millions of Cubans who came out to accompany it, and their faith and the depth of their feelings could be seen on their faces.
I think that is a victory, because it showed that there is no force strong enough to destroy the bond between God and the human being, he said.
Pope is wasting his time.
Actually, I think that you are the one who is wasting your time....attempting to tell this to Catholics who know better.
With God....nothing is impossible. ;-)
You don’t know Cubans. They’re further from being Catholic than the Moslems.
You dont know Cubans.
And how do you know this about me?
1. Because most people in the US haven’t spent a lot of time with people on the island.
2. If you did know Cubans, you’d understand what I wrote.
1. Because most people in the US havent spent a lot of time with people on the island.
2. If you did know Cubans, youd understand what I wrote.
1. Knowing Cubans would not make your writing clear.
2. The post was directed to me...and included the assumption that I do not know Cubans.
3. You generalized about people and about the Church.
4. Perhaps you are merely an “hombre pequeñito”...as the Cuban saying goes.
You may call it generalizing when I write something you don’t want to accept or cannot understand. Cuba now - and for many decades - has been a syncrenetic culture, ruled by a symbolism that has a different meaning to them than it does to the rest of the world.
No, I only call it generalizing when it IS generalizing.
A propósito, los seres humanos son los seres humanos en cualquiera parte del mundo. Punto.
It is not generalizing to make observations about a culture that one has lived in. Cuba is a syncrenetic culture. Please look up the word in the dictionary.
Obviamente te falta el sentido común.
Obviamente Usted falta conocimiento y informacion, y por esp vives en una fantasia.
I am a realist and you said the following:
1. The Pope is wasting his time.
You have NO way of knowing that he is wasting his time. Perhaps it is you who lacks spiritual knowledge and/or information regarding such things.
2. You dont know Cubans.
Again, this statement displays a lack of correct information on your part, since I do, indeed, know Cubans.
3. Theyre (Cubans) further from being Catholic than the Moslems.
Here is your generalization. This statement certainly does NOT apply to all Cubans.
4. You may call it generalizing when I write something you dont want to accept or cannot understand.
I repeat: No, I only call it generalizing when it IS generalizing.
With all due respect, I suggest that you write more clearly and that you work a bit on your Spanish grammar.
You still won’t address the basic fact of Cuba being a syncrenetic culture. You may be the child or grandchild of Cubans, or have been born there and left years ago, but if you don’t know that Cuba is a syncrenetic culture, then you don’t really know Cuba or Cubans.
And because Cuba is a syncrenetic culture, it is not really a Catholic country, despite the most Christian devotion of your grandmother, five aunts, and second cousin who was the bishop of Pinar del Rio.
And since it looks like a Catholic country, but isn’t, the pope (or as they call him in Cuba, “el comemierda el papa”) treating his visit as if it were a trip to a Catholic country is misguided and a waste of time.
Amazingly, you miss the point and... engage in a bit more generalization.
PS I am quite aware of the cultural makeup of Cuba.
Your statement of this trip as misguided and wasted is, I would submit, based on your own lack of knowledge.
And the last time you were in Cuba spending a lot of time with people who were not related to you was....when?
That question has NADA to do with your comments about the Pope wasting his time.
Si, tiene que ver - I based my assessment on wide-ranging first hand experience; what you have brought to the table are bromides and swipes at me. I say that the pope is wasting his time treating Cuba as if it were a Catholic country because , sadly, it is no longer a Catholic country.