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Prayers requested for papal visit to Cuba

Archbishop Wenski asks Catholics to pray novena to Mary, Undoer of Knots

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MIAMI | Archbishop Thomas Wenski has asked the South Florida community to prepare for the Holy Father’s visit to Cuba with a novena (nine days of prayer) to the Mother of God under her title of “Desatanudos” (Undoer of Knots). This devotion originated in Germany and is a favorite of Pope Francis. 

Daily prayer:

Our Lady, Mother of God and our Mother,
intercessor and advocate in all our spiritual and material needs,
we ask that you untie all the knots that imprison our Cuban people,
the knots of despair, of fear, of loss of God and loss of the values of the faith;
help us break the ties of suspicion, of indifference,
and the sin of not seeing our brother in the other;
of expecting more from the powers of this world than from the strength of God.
We beg you to help us untie, along with you,
all the knots of evil, injustice and sin. Amen.

“Cubans have always been united, regardless of race, class or views, along the same path: the path that leads us to El Cobre.” * 

First knot: the knot of dismay

“It is necessary for us to convene as Cubans to give new vigor to the faith, to live from Christ and for Christ; and wielding the weapons of peace, forgiveness and understanding, to fight for an open and renewed society, a better society, more worthy of mankind and reflective of God’s goodness.” *

We ask you, Our Lady of Charity,
to undo all the knots that lead us to despair;  
and may your Cuban people find a new path that will lead to a new way of living, 
with justice, freedom and rights.

For these intentions and for those of Pope Francis on his visit to Cuba, we pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be to the Father.  

Second knot: the knot of disinterest

“No one can claim freedom for himself and deny it to others, or seek his own good while ignoring that of the other. The liberty that God desires for man is a liberty that encompasses responsibility for the life and destiny of those at our side.” *

We ask you, Our Lady of Charity,
to undo all the knots that suppress the search for liberty of your Cuban people;
and may we all learn how to support one another
as we journey on the path toward the common good of Cuban society.

For these intentions and for those of Pope Francis on his visit to Cuba, we pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be to the Father.  

Third knot: the knot of individualism

“The only way that a person, a family, and a society can grow, the only way that the life of a people can move forward is through the culture of encounter. A culture in which every person has something to contribute, and all can receive something good in return.” *

We ask you, Our Lady of Charity,
to undo all the knots that divide and separate us;
enhance our capacity for understanding and forgiveness
so that we all may learn to build bridges of unity and reconciliation.

For these intentions and for those of Pope Francis on his visit to Cuba, we pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be to the Father.  

Fourth knot: the knot of exclusiveness and social marginalization

“Service to mankind is the way of the Church, and this service to mankind is offered by the Church to all people without regard to religion, race, age, sex, social condition or political inclination.” *

We ask you, Our Lady of Charity,
to undo all the knots that lead to distrust, rejection,
prejudice, resentment and hostility;
help us to seek unity and regain the richness of being Cuban.

For these intentions and for those of Pope Francis on his visit to Cuba, we pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be to the Father.  

Fifth knot: the knot of loss of values

“The family, as a natural institution, is called to be a ‘school of humanity’ and transmitter of the values that exalt the person and dispose him toward a healthy and constructive social life.” *

We ask you, Our Lady of Charity,
to undo all of the knots that might distance Cuban families 
from their role in society;
may they always transmit the values of truth, justice and liberty 
in order to guarantee a worthy and communal future.

For these intentions and for those of Pope Francis on his visit to Cuba, we pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be to the Father.  

Sixth knot: the knot of selfishness

“The aspirations of self-improvement should be encouraged in order to attain a vigorous civil society, which is always a necessary good for any country that aspires to a healthy social prosperity and an economy sustained by solid moral and spiritual pillars.”  * 

We ask you, Our Lady of Charity,
to undo all the knots that lead to thoughts and actions
that do not take into account the needs of others;
fill the hearts of all of your children with generosity
and permit them to always act with solidarity
so that they may construct a nation with all and for the good of all.

For these intentions and for those of Pope Francis on his visit to Cuba, we pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be to the Father.  

Seventh knot: the knot of hopelessness

“The message of the Gospel leads to love, to surrender, to sacrifice and forgiveness, so that if a people travels that path, that people will have hope for a better future.” *

We ask you, Our Lady of Charity,
to undo all the knots that drown the hopes of your people;
change the hearts of those who repress initiatives
and close the door to the social and personal growth of your children;
and may the Gospel always be a fountain of strength
that sparks and keeps that hope alive.

For these intentions and for those of Pope Francis on his visit to Cuba, we pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be to the Father.  

Eighth knot: the knot of inauthenticity

“May the youth be strong on the inside, of prodigious soul, rich in good intentions, bold in truth, courageous in freedom, constant in responsibility, generous in love, invincible in hope…”  *

We ask you, Our Lady of Charity,
to undo all the knots that lead to double standards,
to inauthenticity, to accommodation,
to subterfuge and guilty silence.
Fill the hearts of our young people with values and noble ideals
in the pursuit of freedom and truth. 

For these intentions and for those of Pope Francis on his visit to Cuba, we pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be to the Father.  

Ninth knot: the knot of lack of mercy

“We find that there is an increase in merciless language among us. Violence is everywhere. There is aggressiveness in families, in the workplace, in communities… And Pope Francis, Missionary of Mercy, wants to invite us not to tire of practicing mercy.” **

We ask you, Our Lady of Charity,
to undo all of the knots that imprison and harden the heart
and close it to mercy.
Transform us from within
so that we will respond always with compassion, understanding and love,
and so that we may distance all harshness in the way we treat others.
May we always be sensible to human pain,
so that we may be like your Son,
the visible face of the Father’s mercy. 

For these intentions and for those of Pope Francis on his visit to Cuba, we pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be to the Father.  

Final prayer for all days:

Our Lady of Charity, Mother of God and our mother, 
Queen and Patroness of Cuba,
we come before you to present with faith and love our needs and desires.
Blessed are you, Mother of all Cubans,
who bear in your arms and offer us Jesus, your son,
who through his love for us and for our salvation,
was born in Bethlehem and died on the cross,
and who, risen and glorious, is the Way, Truth and Life.
Holy Mary of Charity, disciple and missionary,
teach us to listen and to live according to His word,
to not be indifferent to human suffering,
to reach out in order to forgive and be forgiven,
to respect all out of love, to overcome division, rancor and enmity,
to come together as brothers,
to be more human and better Christians.
Teach us to love and live in charity.
Happy are you, Virgin of Charity!
Mother of beautiful Love,
pray to God for us, Amen.

Prayer of Pope Benedict XVI before Our Lady of Charity, March 27, 2012.

*Texts culled from the pastoral letter of the Catholic bishops of Cuba, “Hope does not disappoint,” September 8, 2013. 

**Text taken from the “Message of the bishops of the Catholic Church in Cuba on the occasion of the upcoming visit of Pope Francis,” June 29, 2015.

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