2015-09-20 23:00:00

Pope gives mosaic of Our Lady of El Cobre to Cuban president

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Sunday held talks with Cuban president Raul Castro during the first full day of the Holy Father’s Apostolic Journey to the island nation.The hour long private meeting took place in the imposing Revolution Palace in Havana that houses the government and presidential offices, as well as the headquarters of Cuba's communist party.

Following the encounter, President Castro gave the Pope a large Crucifix made out of wooden oars, while Pope Francis gave his host a mosaic of ‘Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre’, patroness of the Cuban people, made by the Vatican's Mosaic Studio. 

During each of Pope Francis’ foreign trips, one Vatican employee is selected to fly with the Holy Father and attend his events as a sign of gratitude for his/her service. The person chosen for the Cuba-US visit is an employee of the Vatican's Mosaic Studio and more than likely contributed to the Holy Father’s gift to the Cuban president.

Pope Francis will visit the National Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba on Monday, September 21st and will celebrate Mass there the following morning before his departure to Washington D.C.

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