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March 30, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI visits Cuba

Pope Benedict XVI is back in Rome following his week-long-travels to Mexico and Cuba. In reviewing almost 4,000 images that documented his historic travels to the two countries, I decided to concentrate on Cuba, a country that because of travel restrictions, still remains a bit of a mystery to most of us. The first image, though, shows the Pope traveling to Cristo Rey sanctuary in Mexico to lead the holy mass celebration. The Pope urged the faithful to seek a humble and pure heart and trust in God in the face of evil. While in Cuba, in the heart of Revolution Square, with the towering images of guerrilla heroes staring back at him, the Pope called for "authentic freedom" in one of the world's most authoritarian states. Benedict's visit comes 14 years after the historic first papal trip to Cuba by Pope John Paul II, a visit that yielded an era of greater religious expression. – Paula Nelson (50 photos total)

Pope Benedict XVI looks from the helicopter at the Cristo Rey sanctuary as arrives to lead the holy mass celebration at the Parque del Bicentenario in Silao, March 25, 2012. Pope Benedict XVI sought to boost the Catholic faith in the face of violence and other challenges on his first visit to Mexico, receiving eager support from vast crowds of Mexicans. (Osservatore Romano/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman holds an image of Pope Benedict XVI as she stands near the Colegio Miraflores where the pope resided during his stay in Leon, Mexico, March 23, 2012. Benedict's weeklong trip to Mexico and Cuba was his first to both countries. (Eduardo Verdugo/Associated Press) #

Children walk by a picture of Pope Benedict XVI on their way to school in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. Fourteen years after Pope John Paul II visited Cuba, Pope Benedict XVI arrives in the communist country March 26. Tensions are high in Cuba between dissidents and the government as activists hope the international exposure of the Papal visit will result in renewed attention to their struggle for greater freedoms. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

Cars pass along a street, March 24, 2012 in Havana, Cuba. Fourteen years after Pope John Paul II visited Cuba, Pope Benedict is scheduled to arrive in the communist country March 26th. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

People walk through the streets of old Havana in Havana, Cuba. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

Venezuelan catholic priest Luis Eduardo Rodriguez receives a kiss from tourist-welcoming worker Rosa in front of a cathedral in La Habana, March 24, 2012. Pope Benedict said that communism had failed in Cuba and offered the Church's help in creating a new economic model, drawing a reserved response from the Cuban government ahead of his visit to the island. (Jorge Silva/Reuters) #

People fill the street in a busy downtown neighborhood in Santiago de Cuba. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

Edismer Rodriguez shows a photo of Jesus of Nazareth as a child to Yaremis Valdes before the start of Mass at the Santa Rita church, in Havana, Cuba. Pope Benedict XVI's weeklong trip to Latin America takes him to Mexico, the region's most Catholic country, and then to Cuba. (Franklin Reyes/Associated Press) #

Children play a game of baseball in the streets in Havana, Cuba. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

Pedestrians walk along a street in the morning light in Santiago de Cuba. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

Pope Benedict walks down the stairs as he arrives at the Antonio Maceo International Airport in Santiago de Cuba, March 26, 2012. The Pope landed in eastern Cuba on Monday for a three-day visit to showcase improving Church-state relations and push for a larger Church role at a time of change on the communist island. (Tony Gentile/Reuters) #

Pope Benedict XVI and Cuban President Raul Castro walk next to each other after a welcoming ceremony upon his arrival for a three day visit, March 26, 2012 in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. Fourteen years after Pope John Paul II visited Cuba, Pope Benedict is making his first trip to the communist country. (Sven Creutzmann/Getty Images) #

Pope Benedict XVI gestures upon arrival at the Jose Marti- International airport in Havana, March 27, 2012. Pope Benedict XVI, on the second day of a historic visit to Cuba, is to celebrate mass and possibly meet with the island's most famous inhabitant - former president Fidel Castro. (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images) #

Thousands of Cubans arrive in Revolution Square where Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to speak later in the day, March 26, 2012 in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

A protester is taken away after screaming at the stage in Revolution Square as Pope Benedict XVI is about to speak, March 26, 2012 in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

Prelates attend Pope Benedict XVI holy mass on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the the discovery of the image of the "Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre" at Antonio Maceo square in Santiago de Cuba, March 26, 2012. (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images) #

Clergy attend the holy mass conducted by Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the the discovery of the image of the "Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre" at Antonio Maceo square in Santiago de Cuba on March 26, 2012. (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images) #

A building is reflected in a windshield on the day that Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Cuba, March 26, 2012 in Havana, Cuba. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

Cars drive through the streets in Havana, Cuba. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

Cuban president Raul Castro attends Pope Benedict XVI holy mass on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the the discovery of the image of the "Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre" at Antonio Maceo square in Santiago de Cuba, March 26, 2012. (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images) #

Pope Benedict XVI at a mass at Antonio Maceo square in Santiago de Cuba, March 26, 2012. (Tony Gentile/Reuters) #

Pope Benedict XVI waves from the popemobile as people gather along the roadside to greet him in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, March 26, 2012. (Desmond Boylan/Associated Press) #

People gather where Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to speak in Revolution Square, March 26, 2012 in Santiago de Cuba. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

Elizabeth Mate and Nestor Machado take photos as their tour bus passes a plaza, on the way to the original statue of Our Lady of Charity, located in the Sanctuary of El Cobre, March 26, 2012, in Santiago, Cuba, prior to today's mass by Pope Benedict XVI. (Patrick Farrell/The Miami Herald) #

Pope Benedict XVI waves to faithful from his popemobile as he arrives at Revolution Square for a Mass in Havana, Cuba, March 28, 2012. (Ramon Espinosa/Associated Press) #

A man has a haircut outside a house near a poster welcoming Pope Benedict XVI on his visit to Cuba, in Havana, March 26, 2012. (Jorge Silva/Reuters) #

A Cuban born-US citizen - who flew from Miami to Cuba to attend the visit of Pope Benedict XVI - cries upon arrival in the Church of Charity in El Cobre, 935 km southeast of Havana, March 26, 2012. After a three-day visit to Mexico, Benedict XVI headed to Cuba hoping to boost the Catholic Church's special dialogue with the Communist regime. (Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images) #

A child waves as he passes Antonio Maceo Revolution Square where Pope Benedict XVI is set to speak March 25, 2012 in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

A woman irons a cassock to be used by a priest who will accompany Pope Benedict XVI during Mass at the cathedral in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, March. 25, 2012. The image on the cassock is of the Virgin of Charity of Cobre, Cuba's patron. (Ramon Espinosa/Associated Press) #

Altar boys prepare for the start of a morning service at Santo Angel Custodio church. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

Parishioners pray together at Santo Angel Custodio church during a morning service, March 25, 2012 in Havana, Cuba. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

People give the sign of peace during a mass in the cathedral in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba,March. 25, 2012. (Ramon Espinosa) #

An Altar boy carries the cross after a morning service at Santo Angel Custodio church in Havana, Cuba. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

Parishioners pray together at Santo Angel Custodio church during a morning service in Havana, Cuba. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

A street is seen through a car window a day after Pope Benedict XVI held an historic mass in the city, March 27, 2012 in Santiago de Cuba. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

A hotel maid a day after Pope Benedict XVI held an historic mass in the city, March 27, 2012 in Santiago de Cuba. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

Pope Benedict XVI meets former Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Havana, March 28, 2012. (Osservatore Romano/Reuters) #

A man sells produce in the street a day after Pope Benedict XVI held an historic mass in the city, March 27, 2012 in Santiago de Cuba. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

A street scene a day after Pope Benedict XVI held an historic mass in the city, March 27, 2012 in Santiago de Cuba. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

A boy, a day after Pope Benedict XVI held a historic mass in the city, March 27, 2012 in Santiago de Cuba. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

A man is passed in the street by an older American car, a day after Pope Benedict XVI held an historic mass in the city, March 27, 2012 in Santiago de Cuba. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

People wait for the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI for his mass at Havana's Revolution Square on the last day of his three day visit, March 28, 2012 in Havana, Cuba. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

Pope Benedict XVI conducts his mass at Havana's Revolution Square on the last day of his three day visit, March 28, 2012 in Havana, Cuba. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he rides the popemobile on his way to the airport in Havana, March 28, 2012. (Jorge Silva/Reuters) #

A Cuban boy (a portrait of Fidel Castro behind him) watches Pope Benedict XVI's caravan make its way to the airport in Havana, March 28, 2012. (Jorge Silva/Reuters) #

Luis Enrique Reyes and Susana Rodriguez watch Pope Benedict XVI's caravan on television as he makes his way to the airport, March 28, 2012. (Jorge Silva/Reuters) #

People wave to Pope Benedict XVI as he rides in his popemobile during his departure for the airport, March 28, 2012. (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate/Associated Press) #

Cuban children wait in the rain to see Pope Benedict XVI's caravan make its way to the airport, March 28, 2012. (Jorge Silva/Reuters) #

Pope Benedict XVI waves to people from his popemobile as he departs for the airport, March 28, 2012. (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate/Associated Press) #

The Cathedral in Havana is illuminated to celebrate Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Havana. (Stephanie Strasburg/Tribune Review) #


 
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