Pope Francis to gift crucifix given by Raul Castro

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Pope Francis will donate Italy’s southernmost island of Lampedusa a giant wooden crucifix given to him by Cuban President Raul Castro.

This will be done during a papal visit in September, Vatican Radio reported.

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Cardinal Francesco Montenegro of Agrigento, whose archdiocese includes Lampedusa, made the announcement at the Italian Catholic Church’s fifth national church conference in Florence.

The cross will go on display in Agrigento next month before taking up its final residence in the parish Church of Lampedusa.

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Standing over three metres high, the crucifix is crafted from wooden oars tied with ropes to symbolise the journey endured by migrants who have crossed the Mediterranean by boat.

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