On September 10th, 37 years ago, I was not yet a priest, I knocked on St. Peter’s Door, but he wouldn’t open me. I had had a great car accident and St. Peter sent me back, not without first giving me a strong lesson that was deeply etched in my heart.
What was this lesson? When, after the shock of the accident, I regained consciousness, recognizing the priest, my teacher, who administered me the sacrament of the sick, I felt severe pains because of the various fractures and wounds I had all over my body, but I experienced an even more intense anguish in my soul: it was the awareness that I could have died without having had time to thank my mother for everything she had done for me and even without the forgiveness of my father (that day, before I took the car, I had quarred with him and left without even saying goodbye).
I clearly warned that the most important thing is to leave this land alone with all and with gratitude. But this, I have realized as a diplomat that he is always from place to place, applies to every game and every farewell. That’s what I want to do now, thank you and apologize.
I certainly cannot list all the people I should ask for forgiveness, there would be a long list of those whom, in one way or another, I have offended, neglected, treated badly, whom I have judged or have not considered with due care; nor would it be possible for me to thank one by one all those who helped me, collaborated with me, prayed for me, or gave me an admirable example of dedication to the Church or the country.
Therefore, without mentioning anyone in particular, I apologise from the bottom of my heart to each one and thank everyone, trusting Our Lady, the Virgin of Charity, Patron of Cuba, whose feast we have just celebrated, for my good intentions. She knows what I mean and who to address my apologies and my thanks.
Then I can go serene. Cuba will certainly remain in my heart, in my prayers and in my affection.