Mar 26, 2012 / 17:15 pm
Pope Benedict XVI encouraged the people of Cuba to imitate Mary in having an "active and fruitful" faith which leads to authentic freedom by embracing God's will despite hardships.
"It is worth the effort," the Pope said, "to devote your entire life to Christ, to grow in his friendship each day and to feel called to proclaim the beauty and the goodness of his life to every person."
In honor of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the statue of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre, Pope Benedict celebrated Mass in Antonio Maceo Revolution Square on the evening of March 26 for an estimated crowd of 250,000.
He said that his first Mass in Cuba takes on a "special luster" because it falls not only in the Jubilee Year commemorating the statue's discovery, but also on the feast of the Annunciation, celebrated by the universal Church.