The Cuban bishops have issued a prayer to help prepare for Pope Francis' Sept. 19-22 visit to their island nation, focused on the visit's theme, “Missionary of Mercy.” Its recitation will be part of the novena following the feast of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre, the island's patroness, which was celebrated Sept. 8. The prayer is as follows: Oh God, the good Father, and rich in mercy: through the intercession of the Virgin of Charity, Mother of your Son and our Mother, turn your loving gaze and pour out your grace upon your servant Pope Francis, whom you have made pastor of the universal Church Grant that his words and witness of love be received into the hearts of the Cuban people whom he is coming to visit as a Missionary of Mercy. We ask this of you who live and reign with Jesus Christ, your Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.
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