Pope Francis kicked off his three-day trip in Cuba Saturday.
A red carpet ceremony welcomed the pope at the airport in Havana.
Cuban President Raul Castro spoke with admiration for the pope's efforts to address social issues.
The pope's visit highlights the renewed diplomatic relations between the island nation and the U.S., and celebrates the 80-years relationship between Cuba and the Vatican.
"The unforgettable apostolic journeys which my two predecessors made to this island, mainly St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI. I know that the memory of those visits awakens gratitude and affection in the people and leaders of Cuba," he said.
Thousands of people lined the streets of Havana to greet Pope Francis as he rode through the city in the Popemobile.
The pope will lead mass at Revolutionary Square Sunday morning.