Bishop John Noonan will be part of a pilgrimage to Cuba for the Pope’s visit to the island nation March 26-29. The pilgrimage is being organized by the Archdiocese of Miami and will include visits to Santiago and Havana, the two cities where Pope Benedict XVI will be celebrating an outdoor Mass. The Holy Father’s visit will be the first by a pontiff since Blessed John Paul II graced the Cuban people with a visit in 1998.
The visit coincides with the 400th anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady of Charity or La Virgen Caridad del Cobre, the Cuban patroness. Three boaters who prayed for the intercession of the Blessed Mother for protection from a storm were saved and discovered a statue of the Virgin Mary with an inscription saying “Yo Soy la Virgen de la Caridad” or “I am the Virgin of Charity.”