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Cubans celebrate patroness, Our Lady of Charity

.- Catholics in Cuba particpated in some 69 different processions throughout the country in honor of Our Lady of Charity, declared patroness of Cuba by Pope Benedict XV in 1916 and crowned by Pope John Paul II in 1998.

The Bishops’ Conference of Cuba reported that processions took place in the dioceses of Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, Ciego de Avila, Camagüey, Bayamo-Manzanillo, Guantánamo, Holguin and Havana. In the Cuban capital, the procession ended with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Jaime Ortega.

The Cuban government has allowed the processions since the historic visit by Pope John Paul II in 1998.  Since that time processions take place during the feast of Our Lady of Charity and during Holy Week.

Likewise, numerous Cubans who live in Valencia, Spain, commemorated the feast day at the Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, where there is a replica of the famous statue of Our Lady of Charity which was brought there as by Bishop Hector Luis Peña of Holguin in 2003.

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