At the age of 12 -- with only $3, the clothes on his back, and no parents -- Luis León arrived to the United States from Guantanamo, Cuba. But today, after making his religious faith a lifestyle, the Latino Episcopal priest has become the "Pastor of the Presidents of the United States."
As the minister of the St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, León has been chosen to deliver the closing prayer at President Barack Obama’s presidential inaugural ceremony on Monday, January 21 in Washington DC.
"It is an honor to be part of a milestone in American history," said Leon to El Nuevo Herald. "It is a special honor to be an immigrant in this country, the only country where an event like this can happen ... I feel that in some way I am representing the U.S. Hispanic community. We are an important part of this country."
This year's inauguration, to be held at the National Mall at 11:30 am (ET), will be witnessed buy a number of Hispanic figures. Obama chose Cuban-American Richard Blanco to recite an allegorical poem, making him the first Latino, the first openly gay, and the youngest poet to read on the historic day.
Salsa superstar Marc Anthony is also expected to perform at the event. And Rosario Dawson and Antonio Banderas have also been confirmed to attend.
On Sunday evening the "Latino Inaugural 2013" at the Kennedy Center will take place, in which Latino celebrities like Eva Longoria, José Feliciano, Prince Royce, Frankie Negrón, Rita Moreno and Mario López are expected to gather to encourage Latino engagement in U.S. politics.
During his years as a minister, León has also counseled three of the nation’s leaders from the pulpit: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush -- who organized a party at the White House to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of his ordination in the Episcopal Church -- and Obama, reported El Nuevo Herald.
León also delivered the invocation at President George Bush's inaugural in 2005.