Pavens julebudskap til cubanerne

Letter to Cubans for Christmas and Papal Trip

VATICAN CITY, DEC 20, 1997 (VIS) - Made public today was a letter from the Holy Father addressed to the Cuban people on the occasion of Christmas and his forthcoming apostolic trip to Cuba, "where I will arrive as messenger of truth and hope."

In the letter, written in Spanish and dated today, the Pope writes: "It is a reason for joy that in your country this luminous day is once again a holiday in the civil sphere also, thus giving everyone the opportunity to participate actively in Christmas celebrations and recovering a tradition which is deeply rooted in the hearts of Cubans."

"The feast of Christmas, with its multiple expressions filled with Christian meaning and popular flavor, is part of Cuba's cultural and religious heritage. On this date, Midnight Mass and the nativity scenes, with their particular charm, will once again gather entire families, joyfully embracing the light and peace that come down from heaven and illumine the future of an entire people, around the figure of the Child Jesus.

I would like for all Cubans to be able to live this beloved day animated by hope, for without it enthusiasm is extinguished, creativity falls and the aspiration toward the highest and most noble values diminishes.

Dear Cubans: as the moment of kissing your soil draws near, my appeal is addressed to all of you, regardless of creed, ideology, race, political opinion or economic situation. I would like for my words to reach both those who have the grave responsibility of directing the destiny of the nation and the simplest citizens, wishing each of them prosperity, happiness and peace."

The Holy Father underlines that "Cuban Catholics know well that I will go to confirm them in the faith, that faith which has at times been tried so much."

At the end of the letter, he expresses his desire that after his visit "the Church, which will have been able to give public witness to its faith in Christ and its dedication to the cause of man around the Successor of the Apostle Peter, may be able to continue to avail itself, more and more, of the freedom necessary for its mission and adequate spaces to carry it out fully, and thus to continue to serve the Cuban people."

JPII-LETTER/.../CUBANS                                       VIS 971222 (390)
av Webmaster publisert 22.12.1997, sist endret 22.12.1997 - 20:03