MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) —  South Florida’s own Grammy Award winning singer, Gloria Estefan and husband Emilio Estefan, were invited to a private mass with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

She is the first international recording artist to meet the Pope.

READ MORE: NFL Player Malik McDowell Bonds Out Of Jail, Charged With Public Exposure, Aggravated Battery

The Estefans are very proud that the new Pope is from Latin America and they asked the Pope to pray for human rights in their native homeland, Cuba.

This is the second time that Gloria has asked a Pope to pray for human rights in Cuba. The first time was when she met Pope John Paul II in 1995.

READ MORE: Miami Weather: Cooler, Pleasant Weather Continues Through Thursday

During her visit to Rome, Gloria was invited to speak about the importance of religious freedom in the world today, at the TEDx conference sponsored by the Vatican.

For the Estefans, music and prayer is very important. It has always given them strength during hard times. “Music is like part of my religion,” said Gloria. Songs are like prayers in that they reach vast amounts of people at the same time.

MORE NEWS: Woman Struck, Killed By Train In Deerfield Beach

Through her music Estefan has always aimed to empower people and help them express their feelings.