Cuba has been visited by the maternal presence of Mary. These were the words of Pope Francis during today’s Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, patroness of Cuba.
The Mass commemorated the centenary of the naming of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre as patroness of Cuba by Pope Benedict XV.
Reflecting on the Gospel, which recalled Mary’s visitation to her cousin Elizabeth. This event, he said, reminds us of what the Lord does with us.
“These are images which we are asked to contemplate over and over again. God’s presence in our lives never leaves us tranquil: it always pushes to do something,” he said. “When God comes, he always calls us out of our house. We are visited so that we can visit others; we are encountered so as to encounter others; we receive love in order to give love.”
The 78 year old Pontiff said that like her cousin Elizabeth, Mary has also visited the island of Cuba, which is warmed by their devotion to Our Lady of Charity. The Virgin Mary, he said, continues to protect their identity so “that we may never stray to paths of despair.”
“The soul of the Cuban people, as we have just heard, was forged amid suffering and privation which could not suppress the faith, that faith which was kept alive thanks to all those grandmothers who fostered, in the daily life of their homes, the living presence of God, the presence of the Father who liberates, strengthens, heals, grants courage and serves as a sure refuge and the sign of a new resurrection.”
The Pope reminded the faithful that they are called daily to “live the revolution of tenderness as Mary” which is lived out through closeness, compassion and service.
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis said that the greatest legacy one can leave is to follow Mary’s example and to learn to pray with Her.
This prayer, he said, “is the living reminder that God passes through our midst; the perennial memory that God has looked upon the lowliness of his people, he has come the aid of his servant, even as promised to our forebears and their children forever.”
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On ZENIT’s website:
For the full text of the Pope’s homily, go to: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-homily-at-shrine-of-our-lady-of-charity-of-el-cobre