The Cuban bishops’ conference has announced that Pope Francis will visit the country from September 19 to 22
An advisory message posted on the bishops’ conference Facebook page on Monday said the visit will begin in Havana. Other events under consideration include a visit to the city of Holguin, in eastern Cuba, as well as a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, the patroness of Cuba, and the nearby city of Santiago de Cuba, the second-largest city on the island.
From Santiago, the Pope is expected to take off for his September 22 to 27 visit to the United States.
The Pope’s trip to Cuba will mark the third time a Pope has visited the island. St John Paul II visited Cuba in 1998 and Benedict XVI visited in 2012.
On May 10, the Pope met Cuban President Raul Castro at the Vatican, where Castro thanked him for the “active role he played in improving relations between Cuba and the United States of America,” said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.