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Our Lady of Charity: Queen and Patroness of Cuba

Our Lady of Charity

The Cuban patriots venerated her as La Virgen Mambisa, since her appearance between 1612 and 1613, the Caridad del Cobre was welcomed in our homeland with great devotion and since then the Cuban people dedicate fervent prayers to her, begging her for the health of the children, the welfare of pregnant women, marital stability and family unity.

Their discovery by the three Juanes in Nipe Bay marked a before and after in our culture, their presence taking root in the depths of our identity, so much so that every September 8 their day or festivity is celebrated, a fact that makes overflow our little island with the scent of sunflower petals and cinnamon.

Love and faith to the Virgencita del Cobre

The little virgin can be visited in every Catholic temple in Cuba, although its original sanctuary is erected in El Cobre in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, which has opened its doors to pilgrims every day since its foundation on September 8 of the year. 1927. 

Its representative color is yellow, hence the custom of dressing newborns in this chromatic tone once they have been discharged from the obstetric institution, as a token of gratitude to the saint for the coat and the procurement provided under her mantle during the months of gestation and subsequent delivery.

It should be noted as a representative fact that it is common to name newborns Caridad, especially those born under her saints.

In the same way, the name and image of Our Lady of Charity have been present in art throughout our history, and in Cuban cinema with films such as Miel para Oshún are examples of the aforementioned.

National and international painters, photographers and illustrators have taken her figure as the cover of multiple works, while various writers have honored her by dedicating verses and prose to her.  

Oshún is Charity

The Virgin of Charity is syncretized with the deity of the Yoruba Pantheon Oshun, mistress of honey, motherhood and love.

She is identified with the number five, she has been designated owner and mistress of the rivers where she has her home, a place where she receives her children to initiate them in the practices of Santeria.

It is related to gold and jewelry in general, so your help is requested in solving financial matters. He is offered fruits such as canistel and pineapple and meats such as pumpkin, because according to legend this is his favorite piggy bank.

She is a deity who advocates resolving conflicts with intelligence and gentleness since numerous sources affirm that according to her they are the two main tools that human beings must use to obtain victory and overcome any obstacle that may arise in life.

Honors to the Holy Orisha

It is common to bring him floral offerings of sunflowers, as this is his favorite flower, although he also receives other yellow flowers such as roses, he likes golden or yellow candles, fine sweets especially those made with syrup, exquisite fragrances and sparkling drinks such as cider and beer.

She is pleased with instrumental music and mariachis, although her favorite musical instrument is the violin, a serenade that is offered to her in order to entertain and pay tribute to her.

It is invoked under the ringing of the bells that is why it is said to be present in all marriages celebrated in churches. Coral, river stones and copper stones are its natural elements par excellence.

To make a request, it is necessary to fan it delicately before and then only then Cachita, as it is affectionately called, will agree to listen to the need.

Righteous and Protective Queens

Oshún is a protective deity who jealously watches over her children and offers them advice to guide them on the honorable path of life.

As a good mother, she does not hesitate to make them punish when they commit a fault, but in the same way, she rewards them at the right moment by giving them new opportunities to rectify their actions and do good.

Charity, as its name indicates, seeks to sow brotherly love, the detached virtue of loving one's neighbor over oneself, rejoices in goodness, in mercy, in peace, in acceptance and understanding without judging any living being. .

The teachings that the Queen and Patroness of Cuba seeks to instill in her children are based on benevolence, reciprocity and selfless generosity, values ​​that must continue to be fostered in every part of the planet so that in this way the world continues to be a better place each day.

Author: Ninette Fernández

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