Rev. Federico Lombardi, who is the official spokesman for Pope Francis, confirmed in a press conference that a crucifix that was given to Pope Francis on September 20 during his current visit to Cuba is indeed made from paddles and oars used by Cubans seeking to emigrate from the island.
Made by a famous Cuban artist, Kcho, the cross was fashioned over the course of a year from the detritus of Cuban who died at sea seeking to reach freedom in the United States. To the cross was added a vintage carved corpus of Jesus.
Pope Francis frequently speaks of the struggles and sacrifices made by migrants in the countries he visits. Last week, he called upon the Catholic parishes of Europe to take in refugees from the Mideast who seek to live in Europe. In a recent interview with a radio program broadcast in Portugal, Radio Renascença, the Pope reiterated that he is "the son of immigrants" and "I know what migration is."
The crucifix was unveiled by Raul Castro, the current political leader of Cuba, following a private audience with the Pope. Earlier this year, Bolivian President Evo Morales presented the Pope with a crucifix fashioned by a deceased priest that depicted Jesus crucifixed on the hammer and sickle that represents Marxist revolution.
U.S. Navy personnel have discovered the remains of an American aviator who was shot down in combat over the Pacific Ocean in 1944. A team aboard USNS ...