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Thousands Attend Pope's Mass In Holguin

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Pope Francis held a mass in Eastern Cuba following his arrival to the city of Holguin Monday morning.

The pope held a mass that lasted a little more than an hour at the Plaza de la Revolucíon with a crowd of close to 150,000. Among those in attendance were Miami  Archbishop Thomas Wenski and Cuban leader Raul Castro who went up to the pope and exchanged words following the conclusion of the mass around 11:40 a.m.

This is the first pope to visit the country's third largest city.  Holguin is also the capital of the province where the Castro brothers grew up.

As the pontiff arrived earlier in the morning, he was greeted by hundreds of people, some wearing shirts saying in Spanish, "Welcome To Holguin" while singing could be heard in the background.

The pontiff blessed the city later in the afternoon before heading to Santiago De Cuba where he will hold a prayer to our Lady of Charity later in the evening.

Just a day before, he was in Havana and met with former Cuban Leader Fidel Castro.

Related: Pope Francis Meets Fidel Castro After Morning Mass

Pope Francis is set to leave Cuba on Tuesday and head to the United States. This is the first time the pope has visited the U.S.

He will make his first stop in Washington, D.C. where he will meet with President Obama. During his stay, he will visit the White House and address Congress.

The pontiff will travel to New York City on Thursday night.  The next day he is set to address the United Nations General Assembly.

While in the city, he will also lead a procession through Central Park and hold a mass in Madison Square Garden.

On Saturday, the pope is scheduled to arrive in Philadelphia where he will visit Independence Mall. He will also hold a prayer vigil with The World Meeting of Families which is the largest meeting of Catholic families that is held every three years. Singers Aretha Franklin and Andrea Bocelli will perform among others.

Pope Francis will end his trip to the United States on Sunday night when he is set to head back to Rome.

Click here for complete coverage of the pope's visit.


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