A Mass for the eternal repose of Laura Pollán was held at La Ermita de la Caridad on October 15 at 8:00pm. Many of the political prisoners now exiled who, in large part, owe their freedom to the Ladies in White took attended and paid their respects. As did many of the Ladies in White now exiled. Some traveled from long distances to pay their respects. Pictures and videos are posted below.
On Friday, October 14, 2011 at 11pm the first prayer service for the eternal repose of Laura Pollán was held at La Ermita. An video clip excerpt from the service is embedded below. Parishioners were still in a state of shock and and intense sorrow having learned of Laura's passing at 7:50pm that very night.
Early the next day it was announced in both the mass media and social media that a special Mass for the eternal repose of Laura Pollán would be held that same night, Saturday, October 15 at 8pm.
CatholicCulture.org presents in an article "On the Christian Burial of the Dead" why this type of mass for the recently departed is so important:
Praying for the dead is an integral part of our Christian life; it is one of the spiritual works of mercy. Our prayer for the dead both honors their memory and expresses our faithful love as we assist them to be purified of any temporal punishment due to sin and to reach their final destiny and lasting home with God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church instructs us about the importance of prayer for the dead:
From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead. (No. 1032)
According to the Cardinal, "There is no more effective means to express our love and provide spiritual help for those who have died than to have the Mass offered for the eternal repose of their souls."
While there exists a political prisoner in Cuba the Ladies in White will be there ask for their liberty." - Laura Pollán
Ladies in White gathered at La Ermita to pay their respects and pray for the immortal soul of Laura Pollán.
Agustin Roman, the retired Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Miami, and an icon of the Cuban exile community delivered the homily. A video clip excerpt is available below along with a very loose translation which attempts to remain true to what the Monsignor said.
"A person as left us who very much loved liberty. We must agree that Laura was a person who struggled mightily for freedom and she has left but she left us a remembrance, a gift, a seed that she planted: The Ladies in White. Let us pray her and also pray for what she sowed. So that it will continue. Today we pray in a special manner for the freedoms that she sacrificed for. Let us fight for that and pray for that." [...]
Peace is founded on four pillars: The first is the truth. There cannot be peace where there is not truth. There cannot be peace where there is not justice. There cannot be peace where there is not love. Hate can never achieve peace. There cannot be peace where there is not freedom. If one of these four pillars is absent said Pope John XXIII peace collapses. To rebuild peace requires rebuilding the four pillars. Undoubtably that is what the Ladies in White have done. They have done it nonviolently.
Following the Mass former prisoners of conscience and Ladies in White gathered to remember and exchange anecdotes of their time with Laura Pollán.