The Virgin of Regla, the protector of the Bay, our Mother Yemayá. In its Yoruba and Catholic representations, this deity is representative of the waters of the sea and protector of those who cross them, mother, saint and warrior.
All about the Virgencita de Regla
Next, we propose 10 elements that every good devotee should know about the Virgin:
1. Patron of the Rule
La Virgin of Regla She is the patron saint of the town that bears her name and which is located in front of the Bay of Havana. There, people from all over Cuba and even foreigners will pay tribute to him. Regla is a town sheltered by faith, protected by the Saint, a place of the sea, of promises and miracles.
2. Wear blue
The Virgin always wears blue in honor of her element, the sea. His powerful cloak, with which he protects his children, is blue as the depths of the oceans. Blue of fish, blue of waves and waters that cleanse and protect all men on earth.
3. Yemayá, in the Yoruba religion
In the Yoruba religion, the Virgin of Regla syncretizes with the mighty Orisha Yemaya, also owner of the sea, goddess of fertility and protector of pregnant women.
However, today the veneration of the deities is based on a single cult that unites the Catholic and the Yoruba, thanks to the syncretism and transculturation of the African and the Spanish.
4. The history and legend of the Virgin of Regla
La Virgin of Regla It was a symbol sent to be carved in Spain.aña by a parishioner who wanted the same virgin to be venerated that Saint Augustine the African, Bishop of Hippo, inspired by a revelation, ordered to be sculpted in the XNUMXth century.
Legend has it that the deacon San Cipriano, managed to save that image of the invocation of the Virgin Mary from the invasion of the Vandals, and under their protection he crossed the dangerous Strait of Gibraltar without incident.
Thus she became the patron saint of sailors, and the image was installed in Cádiz, Spain.aña, town of Chipiona, where the sanctuary of the Virgin of this town is.
The Virgin was preserved for a long time and even faced the invasion of the Arabs to Cádiz. But later, Don Joaquín Ponce de León, feudal lord of Chipiona, ceded his castle as a cult monastery to it and there his cult moved.
In 1590 the entire sphinx was covered by a silver plate as armor, in which only the head was uncovered.
5. Arrival of the cult in Cuba
From 1687, and until 1696, in Regla, formerly known as Guaicanamar, an image represented by a painting painted in oil, located in the first hermitage of guano built in that place, was worshiped.
In 1696 a renowned Castilian brought to Cuba from Spainaña, the statue of the black virgin, which was placed in what is now the venerated and beloved Sanctuary of the Virgen de Regla.
6. The origin of the town of Regla is linked to the Virgin
Legend has it that Zeferina, the one-eyed, 70 years old, in 1737 asked the owners of the land for a license to build a hut near the sanctuary that paid homage to the Virgin of Regla and sell casseroles and meats to those who came for his worship.
Thus, another good number of vendors joined until the founding of the town, then maritime and merchant, and thus around the sanctuary a town was improvised that today is sheltered by faith by the saint.
7. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Regla
The current Cuban Sanctuary of the Virgin of Regla In the town of the same name it was built in 1811, although in 1818 the tower and the façade were completed, through the works of the mathematician Pedro Abad Villarreal, and the master builder Don Pedro Justiniani.
There are often Catholics and followers of the Rule of Ocha, to worship the Virgin of Regla and to the goddess Yemayá and ask for her blessing and protection.
The devotees who go to the sea, and need protection, will beg the deity for his eternal help in the face of the fury of its waters.
8. Holidays in honor of the Virgin of Regla
The patron saint festivities in honor of Our Lady of Regla they unite thousands of people, islanders and even foreigners who also wish to celebrate and worship the deity, whatever its religious expression.
Every September 7, people flock to the sanctuary of the Virgin of Regla and they attend the Patron Saint Festivities of Our Lady in her honor. That day they pray, give thanks and bring offerings to the deity.
On the 8th the procession takes place where the Virgin with all her ornaments, Catholic priests and other ministers of the church participate.
9. Offerings to the Virgin
It is a tradition in Regla to dedicate offerings to the one who blesses the community.
In syncretism with the Orisha Yemayá, those who wish to thank her blessings and bring offerings to the Virgin of Regla on the days of the celebration, they mostly carry white roses, the deity's favorite flower. In a basket, they are left on the seashore to present to the deities.
They also wear blue every September 8 to show their fidelity and devotion.
10. Worship and faith as great as the seas
The Virgin of Regla Today it is one of the most adored deities in Cuba, especially by women, because it provides fertility and gives blessing to have children.
The cult of the Virgin has become stronger and has taken root in Cubans, who come to the Shrine of Regla to pay devotion to the image of the deity.
The Virgin of Charity, Patroness of Cuba and that of Regla, are both symbols in the face of storms and invoked as shelters, as protective mothers, as saviors of the Cuban people.