Vatican City, Dec 12, 2011 / 15:26 pm
Pope Benedict XVI confirmed that he will visit Cuba and Mexico next year, during a Dec. 12 Mass honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe and celebrating Latin American and Carribean independence.
“With this strong desire, and supported by the aid of divine providence,” he said in his homily at St. Peter's Basilica, “I have the intention to undertake an apostolic journey before the holy Easter, to Mexico and Cuba, there to proclaim the word of Christ.”
Representatives of Latin American countries displayed their national flags at the Mass, which commemorated both the Virgin Mary's 1531 appearance in Mexico, and the end of Spanish rule in the Americas between 1810 and 1825.
The Pope said next year's planned trip was based on a conviction that “this is a precious time to evangelize” in Latin America and the Caribbean. In his homily, he called for the New Evangelization to reach the countries currently marking 200 years of independence.