Pope Francis will bless Holguin city from the Loma de la Cruz (The cross hill)
Pope Francis will meet an old tradition in his visit to Cuba in September by reaching the top of the Loma de la Cruz to bless Holguin city from there, said on Tuesday the Church. "He will reach the cross itself and a small act of prayer and blessing to the city and the diocese will be made there," told AFP by telephone the priest Angel Andres Gonzalez, head of communications of the Diocese of Holguín, 760 km east of Havana.
According to the official program of the Pope's trip to Cuba and the United States released on Tuesday by the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba, Francis will be on the island from September 19 to 22.
The Pope will reach Holguin by plane from Havana on Monday 21, he will hold a Mass at Calixto Garcia Revolution Square and in the afternoon he will go to the Loma de Cruz, an elevation of 261 meters in the northern perimeter of the city of just over 290,000 inhabitants, fourth most populated of Cuba.
At this elevation, the friar Francisco Antonio Alegria, prior of the Franciscan community in the city, erected on May 1790 the first wooden cross, Spanish custom to avert diseases, natural disasters and other misfortunes. In 1950 it was changed due to deterioration. The second one was destroyed by lightning in the 1990s, according to the popular saying that occurred "by not being sanctified". The third, made of concrete, will receive Francis’ blessing.