Annual Marathon from 26 to 29 August 2014
Maritime Procession at Biscayne Bay: Our Lady of Charity blesses Miami
Solemn Mass to honor Our Lady of Charity
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
May our souls be filled with joy and happiness!
Let us prepare internally for the experience of God´s immense love, which manifests itself in the best way possible so we may understand it through a mother´s love. This is what we celebrate each year on September 8th, when we come together for the feast of God´s Mother, Blessed Mary, under the name of Our Lady of Charity. It is no coincidence that when God allowed three humble Cubans to find the image of Our Lady of Charity floating on the waters of the bay of Nipe, this image of Mary would offer in her arms the blessed fruit of her womb, Jesus Christ our Lord.
It is not surprising that the veneration of Our Lady of Charity, Virgin of Love, from the beginning of her devotion in Cuba in the XVII century until present day, has been a phenomenon of faith that continues to grow. What began in a remote location of eastern Cuba extended quickly to the entire island despite the primitive means of communications of those times. It has reached the people of the Americas and many other places thanks to the millions of Cubans who carried her in their hearts as they exiled in search of liberty. Here in Miami, next to the ocean, they chose to erect a shrine, which from its modest beginning as a place where the exiles would gather, has become a National Shrine known to all. This is a place where men and women of the entire world witness what I mentioned before, what is the greatest grace that the Blessed Mother offers; God´s merciful love.
Some have thought that these demonstrations of piety by a group of people lose relevance as humanity evolves. I ask myself if the relationship between human beings and their mother loses relevance at some point in their lives, and if we do not always need her protection, her aid and wisdom. This is true always, even more so in times of need. This is why we all gather at the feast of Our Lady of Charity, because we still need our Heavenly Mother. We still have much to be grateful and much to implore. We pray for our families, our sick, for the imprisoned, for immigrants, for this great nation which we are a part of, and of course for Cuba, Venezuela and all of our countries in need of justice, liberty and progress.
Our Lady of Charity has never ceased to support the faith of her children especially in most recent times during this prolonged stage of marxism. However, after many years and many efforts, those who have wanted to snatch away the faith and hope from the hearts of an entire nation, contemplate in frustration the triumph of charity and God´s love. On this day, millions of Cubans, in and out of Cuba, honor the one who never stopped encouraging them and who in her arms displays the one and only true Savior.
As testimony to our gratitude to God and the Mother who never abandons us, once again as we fill this arena with love and hope, and we also continue the legacy of those who came before us in this walk of faith and devotion to Our Lady of Charity. They accompany us from the Father´s house in Heaven where they will joyfully partake in this beautiful celebration which has been occurring for over half a century and has been the joy of our community and offering of love to the Mother of all.
Many thanks for your presence on this day and, of course, many thanks for your generous support to the mission of the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity. May the Lord grant you many blessings and may our Mother and Patroness cover you always with her mantel. Amen!
Fr. Juan Rumín Domínguez,
Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity.