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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The spiritual leader of more than one billion Catholics is on day three of a 10-day pilgrimage to Cuba and the United States.
On his last full day in Cuba, CBS4’s Rick Folbaum asked Cubans if they were happy with how his visit on the island is going.
Thirty-two year old Ariana listened from a bar stool as Pope Francis celebrated mass an open air mass before thousands of followers in the city of Holguin on Monday morning.
Ariana carries a picture of Jesus in her wallet and said his visit was very significant.
Francis is quite popular in the island nation and is credited with helping broker a major change in U.S.-Cuba relations and of course he is the first ever pope from Latin America.
Michele is 31-years old and said he attended Sunday’s mass and also the papal address to Cuba’s young people. He said the pope’s message of change is what’s impacted him the most.
During the mass, Francis told the Cubans that they should allow themselves “to slowly overcome our preconceptions and our reluctance to think that others, much less ourselves, can change.”
The pontiff has chosen his words carefully during his visit to the communist country. On his arrival, he called for greater freedom for the Church and at a Mass in Havana, with Cuban leader Raul Castro looking on, he told the crowd to serve on another, not and ideology.
Cuban political analyst Carlos Alzugaray doesn’t believe the pope will let politics overshadow his pastoral message.
“He won’t be hardline pushing, no, that’s not how the church is going to work this, I think,” said Alzugaray.
Pope Francis will head to the U.S. on Tuesday. On Sunday, the Vatican released a message from the Holy Father to pilgrims attending the World Meeting of Families.
“See you in Philadelphia.”
Before he gets there, however, the pope will make stops in Washington D.C. and New York City.