The Alitalia flight AZ4000 that brought him from Rome touched Cuban soil at 15:51 local time with flags of the Vatican and Cuban waving in the cockpit. He was welcome at Havana Jose Marti International Airport by President Raul Castro and a group of children, who gave him flowers.
Cardinal Jaime Ortega, archbishop of Havana was also part of the delegation that welcomed the Supreme Pontiff. After the reception as head of state of Vatican City, Pope Francis and Raul Castro pronounced speeches.
Subsequently, the papal motorcade will undertake journey to the Apostolic Nunciature, located in the Havana neighborhood of Miramar, and in its route Pope Francis will receive the greeting of the population.
On Sunday morning, the Pope will travel to the Plaza of the Revolution, where it will say a Mass, the first during his stay in Cuba, which is expected to be attended by Catholics and people in general.
A core activity in the program of His Holiness will be the courtesy call to be paid on Sunday afternoon to Cuban President Raul Castro at the Palace of the Revolution.
After that he will leave for the Cathedral of Havana, where he will meet with priests, religious and seminarians.
The busy agenda includes a greeting of the Bishop of Rome to young people of the Felix Varela Cultural Center, located in the historic area of the capital.
On the morning of Monday, September 21, the Head of State of the Vatican City will travel to the northeastern city of Holguin where he will say a Mass in the Revolution Square Calixto Garcia.
Visits to the Diocese of Holguín and the Loma de la Cruz, in the city, will complete his activities there, to travel afterwards to Santiago de Cuba, in the southeast of this nation.
After the welcome ceremony there, the Pope will stay in the old San Basilio Magno Seminary, where he will hold a private meeting with bishops.
Then he will travel to the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Caridad del Cobre to dedicate a prayer to her.
On Tuesday, September 22, he will return to that place for a Mass in the Basilica of the Shrine above mentioned, to leave after that to the Santiago de Cuba Cathedral.
In that place he will meet with a group of families, will deliver a blessing to the city considered cradle of the Cuban Revolution, as the latest of his activities during the visit to the country.
Finally, after an official farewell ceremony at the Antonio Maceo International Airport, the Pope will end his stay in Cuba.