Pope Francis landed on the island of Cuba on Saturday, September 19 and was greeted by President Raúl Castro, who thinks he might become a catholic again some day. The Pope’s visit to Cuba is happening before he flies to Washington D.C. while relations between the two countries are being restored. One of the Pontiff’s aims is to help persuade members of the U.S. Congress to lift the 53-year-old Cuban trade embargo, while encouraging the countries’ reconciliation, calling on the communist nation to “open itself to the world.” Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami says, “He is building a bridge.”

Upon his arrival, Pope Francis also gave a speech urging the government to further support Cuban Catholics “so that the Church can continue to support and encourage the Cuban people in its hopes and concerns, with the freedom, the means and the space needed to bring the proclamation of the kingdom to the existential peripheries of society.” And also called the U.S. and Cuba to “persevere on the path of detente.”

The Pope celebrated Mass on Sunday in Havana's iconic Revolution Square, which marked the first time Cubans were addressed in Spanish by a Pontiff. “Christians are constantly called to set aside their own wishes and desires, their pursuit of power, and to look instead to those who are most vulnerable,” the Pope explained before speaking about the ideals of brotherhood and unity. Francis also addressed the Colombian government, insisting that they “could not allow “another failure on the path of peace and reconciliation,” meaning the talks being held in Havana about left-wing Farc rebel group had to result in a pacific agreement.

Pope Francis Cuba
Pope Francis greets journalists on his flight from Rome to Havana September 19, 2015. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
Pope Francis Cuba
Pope Francis (L) talks with Cuba's President Raul Castro during a welcoming ceremony at the Havana airport September 19, 2015. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
Pope Francis Cuba
Pope Francis (C) greets believers while he passes in front of a billboard with and image of Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro (L) and Cuban independence hero Jose Marti, outside the airport in Havana, September 19, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Pope Francis Cuba
People react after the arrival of Pope Francis outside the airport in Havana September 19, 2015. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
Pope Francis Cuba
Teresa Fernandez Salgado, 78, holds a sign with an image of Pope Francis as she waits for his arrival from the airport in Havana, September 19, 2015. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Pope Francis Cuba
Pope Francis climbs the steps to the altar upon arriving to give the first mass of his visit to Cuba in Havana's Revolution Square, September 20, 2015. Across from the square is a portrait of Che Guevara on the front of the Interior Ministry building. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
Pope Francis Cuba
Pope Francis gives Communion at the end of the first mass of his visit to Cuba in Havana's Revolution Square, September 20, 2015. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
Pope Francis Cuba
Pope Francis rides past the Catholic faithful after holding the first mass of his visit to Cuba in Havana's Revolution Square, September 20, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer