On the occasion of Pope Francis’ apostolic visit to Cuba, Argentina will donate an image of Saint Joseph for Havana’s Cathedral, which is expected to be blessed by the Holy Father.
The origin of this gift to the Cuban people is a resident of the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Flores, who is profoundly devoted to Saint Joseph. Jorge Langlois, 66, an accountant by profession, visited Havana and its Cathedral in January of this year.
“As he does on every trip, he looked for an image of Saint Joseph to pray to him, but discovered there was none. On returning to his country, he commissioned an image from Valentin Alsina’s famous factory of religious images. After long negotiations, he succeeded in having it received in the Island,” reported AICA news agency.
The statue, which is two meters high and weighs almost 80 kilos, was taken from Saint Joseph’s Basilica in Flores to the Cathedral of Buenos Aires, after being enthroned in the well-known church of the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Flores by Monsignor Ernesto Giobando, S.J., Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires and Episcopal Vicar of this area.
Before undertaking the trip to Cuba, the image will remain in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, so that the faithful can pray there and venerate it for a few days at an auxiliary altar. It was received there by Father Alejandro Russo, who acquiesced to the request of the parish priest of Saint Joseph of Flores, Father Gabriel Marronetti.
The image will not go alone. Distributed with it will be holy cards with a prayer written especially for this occasion, which says:
Saint Joseph, we want to accompany you, to follow your steps spiritually on this pilgrimage of your image to Cuba. How many Cuban brothers await you there full of faith and hope in your paternal protection! By God’s design, you were the Custodian of the Virgin Mary and of her Child. Therefore, we pray to you with faith to take care of us all now. Your Jesus cannot deny you anything. Intercede before him for the needs that afflict us. Help us to proclaim the Gospel, witnessing the Father’s infinite mercy to his children. Thank you for your protection and bless the Cuban people.