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.

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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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