Cuban prelate: charity at heart of Pope Benedict’s visit
March 13, 2012
Charity--along with devotion to Our Lady of Charity, patroness of Cuba--is at the heart of Pope Benedict’s upcoming visit to the island nation, according to Archbishop Dionisio Guillermo García Ibáñez of Santiago de Cub.
“He comes as pilgrim of charity,” the prelate said in a reflection on the visit. “The theme of charity is central. God is love, God is charity, and the Pope comes to confirm us in the love of the Father and to assure us that the love of God is with us always.”
For us Cubans, this word has a great and beautiful meaning because it is the name of our Mother and Patroness. Our Lady of Charity, as an image, is symbol of the “cubanía” (that which pertains to all things Cuban) that unites all Cubans, believers and unbelievers alike; but charity, love, is the only virtue that can make possible that all Cubans be brothers and sisters to one another. The opposite of charity is hate; hate doesn’t build anything, division doesn’t build anything. The devil is the father of lies and disunion, but charity is what unites us, and it always comes from God. That’s why the Holy Father comes to visit.