Our Lady of Charity is the patron saint of Cuba.
Her feast is the Nativity of Mary on September 8. The next feast is Sunday, October 8, 2019.
Our Lady of El Cobre
The venerated image is a clay figure in the Basílica Santuario Nacional de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre (National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre) in the village of El Cobre near Santiago de Cuba.
We call her “La Cachita” and pay respect with yellow flowers. Since El Cobre is a copper town, people take home blessed copper for good fortune.
The Legend of Our Lady of El Cobre
Two Indigenous brothers and an African slave child went boating in the Bay of Nipe to get salt for the slaughterhouse in Barajagua. When a storm rose, the men prayed to the Virgin. Suddenly the skies cleared and they noticed a floating object. It was a statue of the Virgin Mary holding her child Jesus.
A chapel was built for the statue in Barajagua, but the statue kept disappearing. Reading that as a sign, the people moved her to El Cobre, but the statue continued disappearing.
A young girl said she found the statue on top of a small hill. The Basilica of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre was built there.
There is a pilgrimage there every September 8.