- Title: Hundreds gather at a Catholic shrine after the death of Castro
- Date: 28th November 2016
- Summary: HERIA HOLDING BABY
- Embargoed: 13th December 2016 01:05
- Keywords: Shrine of Our Lady of Charity Cuba Cubans Fidel Castro Miami Florida Fernando Heria
- Location: MIAMI, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
- City: MIAMI, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0045A7ZMMF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Hundreds of people gathered at a Catholic shrine beloved by Cuban Americans on Sunday (November 27), just two days after former Cuban president Fidel Castro died at the age of 90.
Cuba was the center of the homily by the rector at Miami's Shrine of Our Lady of Charity, Fernando Heria.
"The people of Cuba is a noble people, is a bold people, is a people who persevere, because it is a people of faith," he said.
After Mass, Conchita Jiro who has lived in the United States for over 50 years said she prayed for a miracle in Cuba.
"The miracle I want is for Cuba to be a free country with democracy and respect for the law and respect for the people and love of God," she said.
Ulysses Casamayor said he came to give thanks.
"Thanks to God because it seems our country will be free. The tyrant has died and now I think there will be changes."
The news of the death of Castro has sent hundreds of people into the heart of the Cuban-exile community to celebrate.
Heria, who is also a Cuban-exile, defended the gatherings.
"They are offering the pain of their parents and grandparents who have died and they are offering it. They are not rejoicing because of the death of any human beings. They are rejoicing because of the end of darkness and the beginning of light," he said.
Heria said the community had to look towards reconciliation.
"We need reconciliation, we need pardoning but for that we have to be honest. Those who have done wrong they have to have the intestinal fortitude to say Mea Culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, and then from there we can begin honest dialogue, just dialogue. What are we going to do because our people do not deserve what we are getting," he said.
The Miami shrine features a mural depicting the Virgin Mary and figures in Cuba's history.
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