National/World

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Cuba today

Monday, March 26, 2012
Pope Benedict XVI waves from the popemobile wearing a Mexican sombrero as he arrives to give a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico, Sunday March 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Pope Benedict XVI is headed to Cuba where he will hold an open air mass Monday evening. Huge crowds are already waiting for him.

The historic four-day journey to the central state of Guanajuato is wrapped up, however it will be one that is talked about for decades.

The historic trip began Friday with an arrival worthy only of a Pope, with streets closed down and tens of thousands lined up from the Guanajuato International Airport to the city of Leon to welcome the leader of Catholics with chants of praise.

He waved to the crowds from his 5-ton Pope mobile. Then on Saturday he met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon in the capital of Guanajuato, followed by a message of peace to thousands of youths, appropriately gathered in the Peace Plaza.

On Sunday, he marked his trip with a legendary Sunday mass at Bicentennial Park. More than half a million faithful were present, turning the hillside into a city. On Sunday evening, he presided over a mass with the Bishops of Latin America in a ceremony that concluded with fireworks exploding over the iconic statue, Christ the King.

His message throughout this trip to Mexico is one that will resonate for years to come.

"It was a message for our own salvation, to reconsider what Christ wants from us, what he wants us to do," said Joseph Weso. "The way he wants us to behave and the way we should look forward in a positive way, not looking at the material things but as looking as to save ourselves."

Pope Benedict XVI left the convent wherehe stayed throughout his visit in Leon, Mexico. He left by helicopter to the International Airport where he was sent off in a huge ceremony by President Calderon. He's now heading to Cuba.

ABC13 reporters Erik Barajas and Christine Dobbyn are reporting on the Pope's visit from Mexico and Cuba. Stay with ABC13 Eyewitness News and abc13.com for the latest coverage on the Pope's travels.

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mexico, national/world, erik barajas
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