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Sepulchral Mysteries: The Sleeping Lady of the Cienfuegos Cemetery

Maria Josefa Álvarez Miró

María Josefa Álvarez Miró popularly known as the sleeping lady or the sleeping queen, was a young woman born into a wealthy Cienfuegos family, who was remembered by her family and friends for her love of fine arts and the piano.

In her youth she married Vicente González, owner of the La Unión hotel, which was at that time one of the most famous places of the time in Cienfuegos.

The beautiful woman died mysteriously on July 16, 1907 at the young age of 24, her death even today has not been well elucidated.

The mysteries that haunt the lady Maria Josefa

Hypotheses arising that relate his death to eclampsia, the most serious state of gestational hypertension, a link that unites it with the pantheon where he rests the Miraculous in the Christopher Columbus Necropolis, in Havana.

With the term eclampsia, classical doctors wanted to metaphorically describe the arrival of a lightning bolt or, rather, the appearance of a storm in a clear sky, the same storm that in the case of María Josefa presumably led her to death.

There are several hypotheses on the emergence of the sculpture that identifies her in the Camposanto de Reina and gives prominence to her tomb and her person, over the others that received a holy sepulcher there.

Which is believed to have been built in Carrara marble at the request of her mother, in a desperate attempt to remember her while keeping the eternal dream, an image through which he would snatch her from the hands of the deadly archangel in her memory.

While there is another version of the event where it is said that the architectural piece was ordered to be carved under the consent of her husband, who sought to pay tribute to her youth and beauty.

It was not until months after his burial that the sculpture that later became one of the iconic jewels of the Reina cemetery was placed on his grave.

The Sleeping Beauty sculpture A place of faith!

This reflects the face of a young woman who sleeps resting on a cross, while holding a bouquet of poppies, flowers that represent eternal memory.

In Chinese culture, this flowering plant immortalized eternal love, while a close link with sleep and rest is attributed to it.

It is curious to observe that through this piece a snake is crushed, an animal that embodies death, oblivion and the evils of which human beings are victims.

Many of the visitors flock to Reina's cemetery to make wishes to the sleeping beauty, which are often associated with illusions of love, health and motherhood.

It is at the feet of this enigmatic woman that the devotees of her spirit profess acts of faith in her.

Seeing her as a magical being, while begging her for her intercession and guarding against the unexpected phenomena of life.

Learn more about Cuba and its religiosity:

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