Father Varela (1788-1853), one of the first defenders of Cuban sovereignty, supported the abolition of slavery. His cause of canonization opened in 1985.
Cardinal Jaime Ortega, archbishop of Havana and president of the bishops’ conference, said, “The Cuban Catholic is heir to the Christian and patriotic thought of Father Félix Varela, his zeal for independence, his love for Cuba, his fidelity to the Church.”
The international charity Aid to the Church in Need has supported the printing of 80,000 copies of the comic strip “Father Félix Varela, ‘The Cuban Saint,'” as well as 100,000 copies of a comic strip on the “Virgin of Charity of Cobre.”
According to Xavier Legorreta, head of a Latin America section of Aid to the Church in Need, “support for this kind of initiative taken by the Cuban Church not only contributes to evangelization, but also to rediscovering values affected by the regime for more than 40 years.”