Bayamo (Agenzia Fides) - "The Cubans have the privilege of praying our Mother as Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre!": this is how His Exc. Mgr. Álvaro Beyra Luarca, Bishop of the Diocese of Santisimo Salvador de Bayamo-Manzanillo expressed himself with regards to the feast of Our Lady of Caridad del Cobre, Patroness of Cuba, which falls on September 8.
The note sent to Fides informs that yesterday the feast was celebrated across the country, which this year in particular has a double anniversary: the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Caridad del Cobre celebrated the 400th anniversary of its construction, and all the country celebrated the centenary of the proclamation of the Virgin as Patroness of Cuba.
Mgr. Beyra Luarca recalled that it was the Cuban Freedom Army members to ask the Holy Father, in 1915, the solemn recognition of Our Lady of Caridad del Cobre as Patroness of Cuba. The Pope's answer, on May 10, 1916, inaugurated the century of celebrations which confirmed the faith of the Cuban people even when having to face difficult situations. "That is why being Cuban also means to be devoted to Our Lady of Caridad del Cobre" concluded the Bishop.
Even His Exc. Mgr. Dionisio García Ibáñez, Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, explained the reasons why Cubans make a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary: "To celebrate Our Lady, means that we have to respect all people, their dignity, their rights and duties, trying to create relationships of respect and consideration, because this is the only way to allow people to work together on projects for the good of all. Pope Francis, during his visit to Cuba said: 'He who does not live to serve, does not need to live!'."
Fides received information on the large crowd present at the many celebrations that took place yesterday on the island. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 09/09/2016)