FEAST DAY: September 8
DAY OF THE WEEK: Saturday
CANDLE COLOR: Yellow
LEGEND: Around 1608 two brothers, Rodrigo and Juan de Hoyos, and a ten-year-old slave boy named Juan Moreno, left Santiago del Prado (modern El Cobre, named after the copper mines), Cuba in search of salt to preserve meat for the copper miners. Halfway across the Bay of Nipe they put in for the night to wait out a strong storm. The next morning a small white bundle floated across the water toward them. It turned out to be the statue of Our Lady. It was attached to a board, was completely dry, and bore the inscription I am the Virgin of Charity. A shrine was built immediately, and instantly became a pilgrimage destination. (The three people under her image are those of the two brothers and the slave)
At the request of the veterans of the War of Independence, Our Lady of Charity was declared the patroness of Cuba by Pope Benedict XV in 1916. Then image was solemnly crowned in the Eucharistic Congress at Santiago de Cuba in 1936. Pope Paul VI raised her sanctuary to a basilica in 1977. Pope John Paul II solemnly crowned her again in 1998.
Followers of Santeria use this image to represent the African Orisha Oshun.
PETITION OUR LADY OF CHARITY: Protection of family and home, return of a lover, to bring a new lover, money and prosperity.
PATRONAGE: Cuba, archdiocese of Miami, Florida
PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF CHARITY/LA CARIDAD DEL COBRE
Most Holy Mother of Charity
who came to us as a messenger of peace across the sea.
You are the Mother of all Cubans
To you we come, Most Holy Mother of God
to honor you with love as your children.
To your motherly heart
we entrust our desires and hopes
our work and our prayers.
We pray for our torn country
that we may be able to build
a nation based on peace and unity.
We pray for our families
that they may live in fidelity and love.
We pray for our children
that they may grow strong
in spirit and in body.
We pray for our young people
that their faith may increase,
as well as their attachment to
We pray for the sick, the homeless,
the lonely, the exiled,
and for all suffering souls.
We pray for the Catholic Church in Cuba,
for its mission,
for its priests, deacons,
religious and laity.
We pray for the victory
of justice and love
in our country.
Mother of Charity!
We place ourselves
under your mantle of protection!
Blessed are you among women
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus!
And to Him be the glory and the power
now and forever. Amen.
(Add one Our Father, three Hail Marys, and one Gloria).