Castro Notes Satisfaction at Papal Visit

President Met With Holy See Delegation on Sunday

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 20, 2011 ( Cuba is preparing to greet Benedict XVI “with affection and respect,” and President Raul Castro has welcomed “with satisfaction” the official announcement of the Pope’s visit to the country, according to an official note released on Cuban media today. The visit is due to take place at the end of March 2012.

On Sunday, the Cuban president met with a Holy See delegation to discuss preparations for the forthcoming visit, which the Holy Father himself announced during a Mass on Dec. 12, feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. During the meeting “the excellent relations between Cuba and the Holy See were highlighted, and certain details of the Pope’s visit were examined,” the Vatican reported today.

Benedict XVI’s visit, his second to Latin America following his trip to Brazil in 2007, will coincide with initiatives organized by the local episcopate to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the image of Our Lady of Charity, patron of the island. 

One of these initiatives is a Marian Jubilee Year, which will begin Jan. 7 and end Jan. 5, 2013.

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