They mourn from Cuba the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

The Minister of Foreign Relations of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, conveyed this Saturday his condolences for the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVIat 95 years of age

Through his Twitter account, the Cuban foreign minister also recalled the apostolic visit that the then pontiff made to the island in 2012.

The aforementioned stay of the former head of State of the Holy See coincided with the Jubilee Year for the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the image of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobreconsidered by Catholics as the Patron Saint of the Caribbean nation, according to a report from the Prensa Latina (PL) agency.

His first contact with the Cubans occurred in the city of Santiago de Cuba, where he was received upon arrival at the airport by the then Cuban president, Raúl Castro, before being greeted by the people during his tours through the streets of that city in the east of the country.

It was there that Benedict XVI officiated the first of two masses celebrated by him in the country, for which, according to estimates, more than 200,000 people gathered in the Antonio Maceo Revolution Square, the outlet notes.

The trip of Joseph Ratzinger, name of the head of the Catholic Church from 2005 until his resignation in 2013, took place between the historic visit to Cuba by his predecessor, John Paul II, and the two visits made later by his successor, the Pope Francisco.

On his last day in the country, Benedict XVI met with Raúl Castro, whom he asked to declare Good Friday a holiday, as established from now on, recalls the Efe news agency.

Ratzinger also had a meeting with Fidel Castro, who died in 2016, who had withdrawn from power since 2006 due to a serious illness.

Benedict XVI had been in a delicate state of health for a few days and died this Saturday in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican, where he had resided in retirement since 2013, when he became the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to renounce the leadership of the Catholic Church.

According to reports, Pope Francis will officiate the emeritus pope’s funeral on January 5 in St. Peter’s Square, with the participation of official delegations from Italy and his native country, Germany.

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