Here is a translation of Pope Francis’ video message to the Cuban people. The video was broadcast last night in Cuba.
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Only a few days are left before my trip to Cuba. Therefore, I wish to send you a fraternal greeting before we meet personally. I am coming to visit you to share the faith and hope, so that we strengthen one another mutually in the following of Jesus. It does me much good and it helps me vey much to think of your fidelity to the Lord, and of the courage with which you face the difficulties of each day, of the love with which you help and support each other in life’s journey. Thank you for that very valuable testimony.
On my part, I would like to transmit a very simple message to you, but I think it is important and necessary. Jesus loves you very much; Jesus truly loves you. He always bears you in his heart. He knows better than anyone what each one needs, what he longs for, what his most profound desire is, how our heart is. And He never abandons us and, when we do not behave as He hopes, he always remains at our side ready to receive us, to comfort us, to give us new hope, a new opportunity, a new life. He never leaves us; He is always there.
I know that you are preparing for this visit with a prayer. I am infinitely grateful for it. We need to pray. We need prayer — that contact with Jesus and Mary. And it makes me very happy that, following the advice of my Brother Bishops of Cuba, you are repeating many times a day that prayer which we learned as children. Sacred Heart of Jesus, make my heart like unto thine. It is lovely to have a heart like Jesus’, to be able to love as He does, to forgive, to give hope, to support.
I want to come among you as missionary of mercy, of God’s tenderness, but allow me also to encourage you to be missionaries of the infinite love of God. May no one be lacking the witness of our faith, of our love. May everyone know that God always forgives, that God is always at our side, that God loves us.
I am also going to go to the Shrine of the Virgin of Cobre as one more pilgrim, as a son who is desirous of reaching his Mother’s home. I entrust this trip to Her and also entrust all Cubans to Her. And, please, I ask you to pray for me. May Jesus bless you and may the Holy Virgin take care of you. Thank you.
[Original text: Spanish]
[Translation by ZENIT]