MIAMI (CBS4) - Miami's Cuban exile community is mourning the loss of a beloved spiritual leader. The Archdiocese of Miami confirmed to CBS4 that Auxiliary Bishop Agustín Román died Wednesday night in Miami. He was 83 years old.
According to Archdiocese spokesperson Rosa Quiroz, Román went into cardiac arrest while at the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity. He was rushed to Mercy Hospital, but could not be resuscitated. Roman had reportedly suffered from heart disease in recent years.
Archbishop Thomas Wenski stated, "The Archdiocese of Miami has lost a great evangelizer who tirelessly preached the Gospel to all. And the Cuban nation has lost a great patriot. Bishop Roman was the Felix Varela of our time."
He made his last public appearance on Easter Sunday, after Pope Benedict XVI honored the Cuban-born Rev. Varela by bringing him closer to sainthood. He was also in the public eye during Pope Benedict the XVI's trip to Cuba last month
Román served the Cuban exile community since his own expulsion from Cuba in 1961 from by Castro's regime. He spent time in Spain, then Chile, before settling in Miami. He never returned to his homeland.
"I am a Cuban and I will always love the country where I was born," Román once said. "I hope that before I go to heaven, I will see Cuba again. But I love America too. This is the country that welcomed me."
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