March 27, 2012
Andra Rodriguez and Peter Orsi, The Miami Herald
SANTIAGO, Cuba -- The power of a diminutive icon drew the leader of the world's Roman Catholics to a bucolic hillside town in eastern Cuba on Tuesday for a moment of private prayer and reflection amid days of vast ceremonies and meetings with heads of state.
On the second day of his Cuban tour, the pope knelt silently before the Virgin of Charity of Cobre for several minutes, his eyes open and hands clasped. The crowned, wooden statue just over a foot (35 centimeters) tall stood on a covered table shrouded in blue and white cloth. The 84-year-old pontiff then rose with the help of two Cuban bishops, who held before him the text of a prayer.
Finally, Benedict approached the statue, lit a candle and stood in prayer as a choir sang hymns...