As part of the activities carried out by the National Shrine of San Lázaro, in El Rincón, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the founding of the Villa de San Cristóbal in Havana, the blessing of the Garden of the Fountain of Holy Water took place. Presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio of His Holiness in Cuba, Monsignor Giorgio Lingua, the event was held on April 23rd, on the Eighth of Easter and St. George’s Day.
In his opening words, the Pbro. Elixander Torres Pérez, rector of the Sanctuary, referring to the source noted that “this reminds us of that mystical rock of the Horeb, from which he watered to quench the thirst of God’s people; also, the rock on which God Himself promised to be to accompany his people (Ex 17:1-7); or that which represents Christ, the cornerstone of our faith, a rock from whose side water and blood sprouted on the cross (Jn 19:33-34).”
Subtitle: Past reconstruction…
After the remodeling, visitors to the site, considered sacred by many, will walk on a marble floor that draws a cross. The fountain was composed of a rock of the same material, topped by an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, sculpted in Carrara marble.
Behind the fountain is a monument to the Pbro. Apolinar López, a young Mexican priest who since 1916 devoted his life, together with the Daughters of Charity, to the Sanctuary and, especially, to his sick.
Also in the garden, surrounded by an atmosphere of spiritual peace, a Cinerario was built, so that the ashes of the deceased that were previously scattered by relatives in different places of the Sanctuary are deposited. Likewise, as was resealed days ago, an imitation of the grotto of Lourdes was inaugurated that recalls the presence of the Virgin Mother in the life of Jesus and in the faith of the Cuban people.
Subtitle: Blessing and Holy Mass
After the blessing of the hand source of the representative of the Holy Father in Cuba, the water first sprouted, accompanied by the singing of tenor Saeed Mohamed who, accompanied by violin and guitar, performed the song Cristo es la peña de Horeb, by the composer and singer-songwriter of Christian music Steve Green.
After the event, Monsignor Lingua presided over holy mass in the temple, assisted by Rev. Diac. José Carlos Iglesias Avendaño and concelebrated by the priests Elixander Torres; Francois, Secretary of Nunciature; Yosvany Carvajal, parish priest of the Sagrario de la S.M.I. Cathedral of Havana; Alfredo San Juan Guilarte, parish priest of Quivicán; and Eduardo Enrique Fonseca, parish priest of Bejucal.
Sacred music was carried out by the wind trio Krhonus – violin, guitar and piano – who accompanied the voices of Yohana Simon and Saeed Mohamed, under the artistic direction of Antoine Cedeño.