Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter

MIAMI (CBSMIAMI) — The Vatican said on Friday that Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba next week in a major step to heal the 1000-year-old schism that divided Christianity between East and West.

READ MORE: Miami Weather: Arctic Air Moving In For Weekend Freeze

Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, announced the meeting with Patriarch Kirill, saying it will take place in Cuba on February 12th.

READ MORE: Cold Weather Coming, Protect The Four P's: People, Pets, Plants, Property

Francis is due to travel to Mexico from February 12th to the 18th.

He will stop in Cuba on the way and meet with Kirill at the Havana airport, where they will sign a joint declaration.

MORE NEWS: Severe Winter Weather In Northeast Expected To Disrupt Flights At South Florida Airports

It will be the first time ever that a pope and a Russian patriarch have met.