Our Lady of Charity – Nuestra Señora del la Caridad del Cobre – is the patroness of Cuba.
The story behind this Marian celebration dates back to the 1600s, when two Native Indian brothers and a young black slave set sail in a small canoe to the Bay of Nipe to find salt to preserve the meat of Barajagua slaughterhouse.
While on the bay, a storm ensued, rocking their tiny boat violently with ongoing waves. Juan de Hoyos, the black slave, was wearing a medal with an image of the Virgin Mary. As the men began praying for her protection, suddenly the skies cleared, the waves calmed and the storm was gone.
Then in the distance, the three saw an object floating in the water. As they rowed towards it, they found a statue of a girl. They determined the statue was of the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus in her left hand and a gold cross in her right. An inscription on the statue stated, “Yo Soy la Virgen de la Caridad” – I am the Virgin of Charity. They noticed that through the storm and floating in the water, the statue was completely dry.
Our Lady of Charity, Patroness of Cuba
September 7, at 2 p.m., Blessed Trinity Parish
Main Celebrant: Bishop Felipe J. Estévez