Skip to content

Backgrounder - 2012 Papal Visit to Mexico and Cuba

March 16, 2012 - 9:25 PDT


For More Information:
Alexis Walkenstein, 561-445-5409 or;
Tim Lilley, 678-990-9032 or;
Kevin Wandra, 678-990-9032, or

ATLANTA, GA (MARCH 16, 2012) - Following are some notes regarding significant events and landmarks that will be part of Pope Benedict XVI's March 23-29 trip to Mexico and Cuba.

March 24 - Peace Square, Guanajuato, Mexico
The Pope will greet and speak to children at 6:45 p.m. local time in Guanajuato's Peace Square, which is adjacent to the basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato. The statue of the Blessed Mother there was given to residents of then-New Spain in the mid 1500s by Spain's King Phillip II. Historic accounts report that the statue, originally in Granada, Spain, was hidden in a damp cave when the Moors invaded Spain in the early 700s. It remained there for more than 850 years without suffering any damage or deterioration - and has been the image of the Patroness of Guanajuato for more than 450 years. Our Lady of Guanajuato has been credited with numerous miracles since arriving in central Mexico in the 16th century.

More information:

March 25 - Bicentennial Park, Silao/Leon, Mexico
Beginning at 10 a.m. on March 25, the Holy Father will celebrate Mass for 400,000+ in Bicentennial Park - at the foot of Cerro del Cubilete (Beaker Hill), atop which is the statue of Cristo Rey (Christ the King), a tribute to the martyrs of the Cristero War. The Holy Father will fly over the statue as he arrives March 23 in Guanajuato. The Cristero War (1926-29) - was a grassroots rebellion against the administration of Plucarto Elias Calles, who sought to restrict - if not eliminate - Catholicism from the country. The martyrs of the Cristero War are featured in an epic new action film, For Greater Glory (also known outside the U.S. as Cristiada), which opens in the U.S. June 1. On Nov. 20, 2005 - Christ the King Sunday - more than a dozen Cristero martyrs were beatified - including Blessed José Sanchez del Rio, who died at age 14.

More information:

March 26 and 27 - Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Shortly after his mid-afternoon arrival in the island country, Pope Benedict XVI will offer Mass to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre - the patroness of Cuba. Mass will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Antonio Maceo Revolution Square. The next morning, the Holy Father will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre. Accounts report that native Indians Rodrigo and Juan de Hoyos, and Juan Mareno, a 10-year-old slave boy, were gathering salt near the coastline (in the Bay of Nipe) in the early 1600s when they found, bobbing in the water after a strong storm, a small statue of the Virgin Mary holding her child in her right arm, and with a gold cross in her left hand. The statue floated on a board bearing the inscription, Yo soy la Virgen de la Caridad, "I am the Virgin of Charity." Witnesses provided sworn testimony, that despite being found floating in the bay after an intense storm, neither the figure nor her clothing was wet. The statue spent several years in smaller shrines before being permanently housed, beginning in 1630, in what is now the basilica in El Cobre - Cuba's only basilica. The last Pope Benedict - Benedict XV - visited the shrine in 1916 and declared the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre the Patroness of Cuba. Pope Paul VI elevated the church where the statue is kept to the status of basilica in 1977.

The Virgin of Charity of El Cobre has been credited with countless miracles; and the great author Ernest Hemingway reportedly gave/dedicated his Nobel Prize for Literature (which he won for The Old Man and the Sea, which he wrote in Havana) to the Virgin of Charity. During his historic 1998 visit to Cuba, Blessed Pope John Paul II crowned her statue.

News reports also speculate that Benedict XVI may use the occasion of his visit to Cuba - the first Papal visit since Blessed Pope John Paul II visited in 1998 - to formally recognize the elevation of Cuban priest Fr. Felix Varela from Servant of God to Venerable. Fr. Varela is recognized as playing a primary role in developing Cuban culture, and for his virtue and patriotism.

More information:

Comments about the Papal visit

Mexico - "For us, the Pope is Christ's representative," Mexican Fr. Javier Yael Cebada told the international news organization Zenit, "and we are very happy and moved by his visit to Mexico. We are a happy people who are joyful to receive their pastor." Fr. Yael, of the Diocese of Orizaba in Veracruz, is studying dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Mexican College of Rome.

Cuba - Jaime Cardinal Ortega - in a rare appearance on Cuban television - called the Holy Father's visit to the island country a pilgrimage "because the Pope is determined to revive the faith in countries that were Christianized before but need new evangelization, and he saw in this mission a true example of what it is to revive the faith of a people."

The Maximus Group, LLC - The Maximus Group, a Catholic communications agency, provides the news media with information and access to reliable, informed, unbiased sources who can participate in intelligent discussions on topics that include a relevant and sometimes entertaining perspective from the Catholic space. For more information, please contact Alexis Walkenstein (561-445-5409 or, Tim Lilley (678-990-9032 or or Kevin Wandra (678-990-9032, or

GA, 30188 US
Kevin Wandra - ,


Catholic, For Greater Glory, Pope Benedict XVI, Cristiada, Mexico, Cuba, Cristo Rey, Cristero War


Catholic Organizations

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 7,183

When Pope Francis Arrives in North America, There is Only One Network to Watch: EWTN Global Catholic
EWTN Global Catholic Network
September 16, 2015 - 5:17 PDT

The Word Out | Marketing For Catholics
September 11, 2015 - 11:44 PDT

The Synod on the Family: Addressing the Instrumentum Laboris
Franciscan University of Steubenville
September 11, 2015 - 10:26 PDT

OCP Artist, Pedro Rubalcava, Writes Song for Pope Francis' Visit
OCP (Oregon Catholic Press)
September 10, 2015 - 2:50 PDT

Pre-Synod Conference unites Cardinals and men and women living with homosexual tendencies
September 09, 2015 - 2:58 PDT

The Rigging of a Vatican Synod
September 02, 2015 - 3:44 PDT

17 Cardinals and Counting
August 31, 2015 - 3:38 PDT

19th Annual Carnival Announced for St. Ann's Parish
August 28, 2015 - 9:20 PDT

The John Paul II International Film Festival Marks Its Five-Year Anniversary
August 27, 2015 - 6:09 PDT

OCP Pledges to Support the V Encuentro
OCP (Oregon Catholic Press)
August 27, 2015 - 2:51 PDT

Thu, Sept 24, 2015- Mass & Healing Service with Fr. Angelos Sebastian Our Lady of Grace Catholic Chu
August 26, 2015 - 4:03 PDT

Grief, Death, Eternal Life Explored in New Catholic Title by PBM
Pauline Books & Media
August 25, 2015 - 3:55 PDT

How do we live the truth in love when the culture says we're haters?
August 25, 2015 - 9:52 PDT

Right Next to Disneyland: Theater Meets Faith
Saint Luke Productions
August 19, 2015 - 1:29 PDT

OCP Parish Grant Program to Distribute $200,000 to U.S. Parishes
OCP (Oregon Catholic Press)
August 18, 2015 - 1:23 PDT

Franciscan University Joins With UK School to Offer Online Master of Catechetics Degree
Franciscan University of Steubenville
August 05, 2015 - 2:20 PDT

Saint Benedict Press & TAN Books
July 20, 2015 - 12:49 PDT

Thérčse Drama Surprises Audiences
Saint Luke Productions
July 16, 2015 - 12:35 PDT

Catholic Press Association Honors Liguori
Liguori Publications
July 10, 2015 - 8:29 PDT

Crosier Order elects master general and councilors
June 26, 2015 - 2:06 PDT

World Library Publications Honored With Three Paul Revere Awards
World Library Publications
June 23, 2015 - 4:11 PDT

Indie Catholic Authors June Ebook Sale Offers the Faithful 17 Books Outside the Mainstream
Four Waters press
June 23, 2015 - 12:10 PDT

Limitless Love in Action: First Steubenville Youth Conference Inspires Teens to Bring the Fire Home
Franciscan University of Steubenville
June 18, 2015 - 2:03 PDT

Franciscan University of Steubenville Athletic Director Enshrined in Sports Faith Hall of Fame
Franciscan University of Steubenville
May 29, 2015 - 1:53 PDT

Pauline Books & Media
May 27, 2015 - 12:32 PDT

May 27, 2015 - 1:22 PDT

Who's responsible for designing the designer?
May 19, 2015 - 11:12 PDT

Thu, Jun 11, 2015- Mass & Healing Service with Fr. Bill Adams at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church
May 13, 2015 - 4:21 PDT

Your search for true happiness is over
May 05, 2015 - 1:22 PDT

ValLimar Jansen's latest album "a soulful experience"
OCP (Oregon Catholic Press)
April 30, 2015 - 1:33 PDT

Uncovering the roots (and branches) of the greatest revolution in the American Catholic Church
April 28, 2015 - 9:45 PDT

NYC May 8, 2015 Spring Fling Catholic Singles Mingle Fundraiser
The Catholic Fellowship
April 18, 2015 - 9:07 PDT

Thank A Nun Day
Image Books/Random House
April 15, 2015 - 12:32 PDT

#TweetingwGod dares young people to believe
April 14, 2015 - 9:54 PDT

Experience Beloved: Finding happiness in marriage
April 13, 2015 - 1:27 PDT

Archbishop Aquila, Dr. Edward Sri and other experts to participate in 'Beloved' telepress conference
April 07, 2015 - 4:51 PDT

Nobis Media, Marketing & Web Development Company
April 01, 2015 - 5:49 PDT

Catholic toymaker puts Faith in hands and mouths of babies: Pope Francis doll added to line of toys
The Word Out | Marketing For Catholics
April 01, 2015 - 3:48 PDT

Concert Series Concludes with Winthrop University World Percussion Ensemble
April 01, 2015 - 2:48 PDT

Birth Choice Health Clinics Announces Transition to Obria Medical Clinics and Plans for Expansion
March 28, 2015 - 10:43 PDT

OCP releases expanded edition of Mass of the Sacred Heart
OCP (Oregon Catholic Press)
March 24, 2015 - 4:43 PDT

Archbishop Aquila, Dr. Edward Sri and other experts participate in 'Beloved' tele-press conference
March 21, 2015 - 11:57 PDT

Priest and Seminarian Join National Three-Point Contest to Benefit Marriage Ministry
Paradisus Dei
March 13, 2015 - 10:20 PDT

Shroud of Turin Exhibit At Holy Spirit Brighton
Holy Spirit Catholic Church and School
March 12, 2015 - 3:58 PDT

Flor y Canto campaign invites the Hispanic community to share their stories
OCP (Oregon Catholic Press)
March 11, 2015 - 4:40 PDT

Crisis Pregnancy Center Dream Becoming Reality
March 10, 2015 - 6:36 PDT

Crisis Pregnancy Center Dream Becoming Reality
March 09, 2015 - 7:04 PDT

Join RealOptions 2015 Walk for Life and 5K Run!
RealOptions Pregnancy Medical Clinics
March 09, 2015 - 2:40 PDT

New Orchestra Comes to Mary's Nativity Church
March 09, 2015 - 12:06 PDT

Paradisus Dei Offers New Marriage Program to Churches at No Cost
Paradisus Dei
March 05, 2015 - 6:25 PST

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.