SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba,- The Antonio Maceo Revolution Square of Santiago de Cuba and the National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Charity, in the nearby village of El Cobre, are ready to receive Pope
Benedict XVI, who will arrive in this eastern Cuban city on Monday for a three-day visit to the Caribbean nation.
Architect Juan Ramon Navarro told ACN that recent refurbishing actions in the shrine included general maintenance works on the plaza, the parking lot, the retreat house, and a parochial house.
He added that a very comfortable, private and secure residence —with a direct view to the Virgin’s Chapel— was built for the night rest of the Supreme Pontiff and his entourage.
As to the Jose Marti Revolution Square, the architect said it is ready and with the necessary infrastructure and dimensions to locate the presbytery from where the Pope will celebrate the first Mass in Cuba only hours after arriving in the country.
The final touches are being added. These include the placing of the emblems of Cuba and the Vatican, and the carpets in the stairs and in the platform.
Also being placed this weekend are pieces of furniture, including the same altar used by Pope John Paul II when he celebrated Mass there during his 1998 visit to the city.