It was a historic meeting taking place in an already historic year for the people of Cuba. Pope Francis met with the country’s longtime former ruler, Fidel Castro, and shared words of peace and hope after a special mass.
As Pope Francis makes his way toward the United States for his first visit to the country, he had another significant stop to make first: Cuba. The famous, former Cuban Leader Fidel Castro, 89, was able to meet with the pontiff for an intimate gathering after holy mass.
Pope Francis began the morning of Sunday, September 20 by touring Havana’s Revolution Square in the Popemobile, while preparing to hold a glorious Mass for the crowds of people who showed up to greet him. One person in particular, though, got to meet with him after he concluded Mass: the former Cuban ruler, who invited the pope back to his home, according to Vatican spokesman Father Lombardi.
There, Pope Francis and Fidel chatted, and visited with Fidel’s wife, their kids and grandchildren. What an amazing thing to be able to meet the pope on such an intimate level! For a Catholic family, having the pope himself inside your home is an insane, unimaginable honor.
During their meeting, which is thought to have lasted about 30 minutes (the pope has a very tight schedule right now!), his holiness gave Fidel a book and two CDs of homilies, as well as a copy of two encyclicals. In return, Fidel gave the pope an interview book, “Fidel and Religion,” with a special handwritten note in the front.
“For Pope Francis, on occasion of his visit to Cuba, with the admiration and respect of the Cuban people,” Fidel wrote. Very moving. Apparently, the two leaders discussed “protecting the environment and the great problems of the contemporary world,” according to Father Lombardi. Just before this, Pope Francis had presided over a Mass of 300,000 Cuban citizens. What an amazing sight to behold!
HollywoodLifers, are you excited for Pope Francis to visit the United States?
— Samantha Wilson