From very early, with no call other than faith and devotion, the faithful and believers began to congregate at the main entrance to the Havana Zoo, a place where the Virgin, who came from San Juan Bosco Church in the Santa Catalina neighborhood, would enter through the esplanade at the main entrance, stopping there to be received by the pastor of the Church of Perpetual Help.

Once she was there doves were released and people said “Vivas” for Cuba and for Her, before the procession continued on through 26th and Kohly Avenues to 41st Street where they finally congregated in front of the church, where they were already expecting Cardinal Jaime Ortega and other members of the priesthood. The Cardinal pronounced a homily of welcome in the gardens of the church, due to the large audience receiving him there, among it some members of State Security, easily recognizable by those who are already accustomed to seeing them at all public events, where their task is to avoid any kind of demonstration separate from that previously established.

In the simple act of welcome that presided over the homily, we heard the soulful voice of Lynn Milanes singing La Bayamesa, accompanied by a guitarist. The act then continued with a parade of all those present through the gardens of the church to approach the Virgin and leave offerings. For the rest of this week the Virgin will continue her tour of the distant parishes and churches of this neighborhood.

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November 30 2011

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