Print depicting the apparition, Cuban Heritage Collection,
Richter Library, University of Miami
Today I am delighted to introduce you to a talented author with a great name, María Morera Johnson, who has a new book, "Our Lady of Charity: How a Cuban Devotion to Mary Helped me Grow in Faith and Love" (Ave Maria Press).
It is not too late for you to join this special Blog Novena in honor of Cachita, Nuestra Señora de la Caridad of el Cobre, patron of my birth island, Cuba.
Please pray with us...
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Holy name of Mary! O most loving mother, seal with your name our petitions, giving us the comfort that your son, Jesus, will lovingly grant them in accordance to His Will.
O beloved Virgen Mary, my Mother, I consecrate myself to you today: my eyes, my ears, my tongue, my heart, in other words, my whole being. I am yours, Oh Mother of Mercy, guard me and defend me as your son/daughter. Amen.
Ask for your petition here
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
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Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre, patron of Cuba, may not be as well known in American culture as Our Lady of Guadalupe. But one can find Our Lady of Charity’s image in churches around the world.
Wherever Cuban refugees have resettled, they have brought with them their devotion to la Caridad.
She is in a side chapel at the pre-eminent Marian shrine in the United States, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
She stands to the right of the altar at the open-air of St. Andrew by the Sea Catholic Church in North Padre Island, Texas.
An image of La Cachita, Cuba's beloved patron, was even given a place of honor a few years ago in the Vatican gardens.
And in Miami, just south of the downtown skyscrapers, there is a beautiful shrine built in her honor by Cuban refugees 50 years ago.
“La Virgen de la Caridad is the most profound symbol of the Cuban nation,” said Bishop Felipe de Jesús Estévez of St. Augustine, FL. “The British have their queen, the Cubans have la Caridad. Even before Jamestown, El Cobre kept this gracious statue.”
But above all, don't miss this new book, "Our Lady of Charity: How a Cuban Devotion to Mary Helped me Grow in Faith and Love," by the other María, my gifted tocaya!
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"This is our most valuable treasure (Cobre), this is our greatest wealth and the best legacy we can give: to learn like Mary to leave home and set out on the path of visitation. And to learn to pray with Mary, for her prayer is one of remembrance and gratitude; it is the canticle of the People of God on their pilgrimage through history. It is the living reminder that God passes through our midst... he has come the aid of his servant, even as promised to our forebears and their children for ever."
~Pope Francis at the Sanctuary of
Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre,
Our Lady of Charity of el Cobre, Cuba (2015)