Replica Statue of Cuba's Patron Saint Inaugurated at the Vatican

Virgin of Charity of El Cobre Has Been Given Place of Honour

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Affectionately known as «La Cachita», a replica statue of Cuba’s beloved Virgin of Charity of El Cobre has been given a place of honour in the Vatican gardens. 

The statue of the «Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre», the Patron Saint of Cuba, was inaugurated at a ceremony on Thursday, presided by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the former Vatican Secretary of State.

A delegation of Cuban bishops, who brought the statue as a gift to Pope Francis, was present for the ceremony, Vatican Radio reports. In 1998, Pope John Paul II crowned the Virgin of the Caridad del Cobre during an apostolic journey to the Caribbean country.

The Virgin of Charity is closely linked to Cuba’s struggle for independence from Spanish colonial rule. 

In 1862, two indigenous young men and a child of African descent were trying to get salt in the eastern bay of Nipe, where they came accross an image of the virgin floating on the sea.

The Shrine of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre in eastern Santiago de Cuba is one of the most venerated religious sites in the island country, with some 500 visitors every day.

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