The owner and lady of the waters, the protector of sailors, the one who comes to the shelter of the homeless, of those who are alone in the world, of inexperienced mothers and of those who have just been born. That is the Virgin of Regla.
The Virgin of Regla, the protector of the Bay, is also in this extraordinary Cuban cult, our Mother Yemayá. In its Yoruba and Catholic representations, the deity is a symbol of the waters of the sea and protector of those who cross them. It is the protection of mothers and the little ones they carry in their wombs and it protects them with its warm cloak.
This Virgin is the patron saint of the town that bears her name, facing the Bay of Havana and which houses a Shrine in her honor. Visitors from Cuba and from many other parts of the world arrive there to venerate the holy Orisha, to pay homage to her and to ask her for her eternal blessing.
Virgen de Regla, a legend of love and faith
The legend of the Virgin of Regla is very old, and at the same time very Cuban, despite the fact that the Catholic cult came to the island through the Spanish conquerors.
However, Cubans grew veneration for the protector of the waters and consider her Guardian of the Bay.
The Virgen de Regla is an invocation of the Virgin Mary and was a symbol ordered 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.
It is said that the deacon San Cipriano, managed to save that image of the Virgin from the invasion of the Vandals, swimming and safely crossing the dangerous Strait of Gibraltar.
For this reason, this dedication was considered the Virgin Patron of the sailors and Protector of the waters.
The cult of the venerated Virgin arrived in Cuba in 1687, precisely until Regla, formerly known as Guaicanamar, and there he was worshiped by an image represented by a painting painted in oil, located in the first hermitage of guano in that place.
Then he arrived in Cuba from España, the statue of the black virgin, who, like the town, was named Virgen de Regla and the image was placed in what is now the Sanctuary dedicated to her.
This is how the town that is now Regla was founded, around the Sanctuary of the Virgen de Regla and it is said that the town was made up of those who came to venerate the image and pray to it and decided to stay in that beautiful place bañado by the waters of the Havana bay.
Blue prayers to the Saint of the town of Regla
The well-known Virgin of Regla is today one of the deities most adored by Cubans, especially by women, who pray to her and ask for her protection for their little ones, even when they are in the womb itself, since the cult of this Virgin unites the figures of the Virgin of Regla and Mother Orisha Yemayá, protector of pregnant women and women in labor and of unborn children.
Thus, the cult of the Virgin of Regla has become stronger and has taken root in Cubans, who come to the Shrine of Regla to pray to the Virgin of Regla and Yemayá dressed in blue, the representative color of deities and women. waters of the sea.
In the Shrine they pray to her in a low voice and tell the Virgin about their problems, bringing her bouquets of white roses and lighting candles to show her devotion.
Other devotees immerse themselves in the waters that surround the Sanctuary and from there they speak with Mother Yemayá, leaving her white petals on the crown of the waves and calling her to come to their aid in the face of the obstacles that life imposes.
It is a tradition in Regla to dedicate offerings to the one who blesses the community. And 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, especially carry white roses, mainly on September 8, the day when the deities are celebrated.
The patron saint festivities of Nuestra Señora de Regla, which begin on September 7, are traditional, religious and cultural celebrations of the town in which the Virgin and the Orisha are celebrated.
That day processions are organized in which prayers and songs abound, around the Virgin adorned with the blue of the sea.
And for Yemayá, melons, coconuts, pineapples and especially white and blue flowers cover the waters of the sea, the house of the Yoruba goddess, in celebration of her day.
In addition, many are the devotees of Yemayá, especially the children of the saint, who come abañaDive into the salty waters of the sea and talk to him there and ask for his eternal blessing.
Yemayá, in the Yoruba religion y The Virgin of Regla
And due to the Cuban syncretism that began centuries ago, when the African slaves, brought to the island by the Spanish colonizers, had to resort to Catholic images to identify their orishas, the cult of the Virgen de Regla joins that of the Orisha Yemayá.
Today the Virgin of Regla syncretizes with the powerful Orisha Yemayá, the Mother of the World, the owner of the sea, representative of fertility and protector of pregnant women.
The veneration of the deities merges into a single cult that unites the Catholic and the Yoruba, those who pray with a rosary in hand and those who wear blue, enter the sea and converse with the Orisha, murmuring to the waters.
Prayers to the Virgin of Regla
Our Lady of Regla is the protector of the afflicted and the helpless, and those in difficult situations come to her for help and comfort.
With white candles lit, we pray quietly to Our Lady asking for her help and support to overcome problems.
I pray to the Virgin to intercede and provide us with protection
- We propose a prayer to Our Lady of Regla to ask for her protection:
Beloved Virgin of Regla! Oh, Most Holy and Sweet Virgin Mary, Mother of God,
Daughter of the High King and Lady of the Angels,
Mother of the Creator of All, Queen of Mercies,
You are immense in your Piety!
You receive us,
And you give us protection and shelter,
To all of us who ask favor,
Powerfully remedying everyone's needs
Those who in distress invoke you as the stories tell
And proclaim those who in all times have implored your patronage
Devoutly visiting your temples,
And especially it is a sanctuary of your image in Regla,
In this temple,
And for this your image,
All find their remedy and consolation;
The navigators in the greatest storms,
Invoking you as Lady of Regla
They get rid of such manifest danger
And in the longest and most dangerous navigations,
Vowing to your sanctuary of Regla,
Happily achieve the port they want.
Those who are hunted by their enemies are saved by devotion,
To this, your image, the sick of all diseases,
In this your house, and for you, they heal.
The weak and handicapped limbs,
Here they gain strength and generally all evils
Here they have a remedy, as published on the walls of this temple
And the miracles put into them. Venerating,
O Benevolent Queen of Heaven!
This is your image of Regla,
We implore your patronage and favor by asking
You reach us of your precious son,
The consolation of good health and strength to serve and worship you;
The remedy for our needs
And especially that of the one for whom we pray this prayer,
We hope Madam, through your intercession, to get what we ask for,
Although our guilt for the effectiveness of your prayers is worthless,
Prayer to the Virgin of Regla in difficult and desperate cases
We also implore the Virgin of Regla in desperate cases, and ask her for help to get ahead and overcome the difficult situation in which we find ourselves, since she always comes to protect the homeless.
- This is the prayer to Our Lady of Regla for difficult cases:
¡Oh Mother of the world, Virgin of Regla!
You who represent the beginning of life and the planet
Love of all things and queen of all seas,
Thanks for being our mother
You who always listen to all our requests
To forgive and understand us
And to be the one to guide us in this hard life that has touched us
I come before you, my mother, with great humility
To request that they help me in this difficult moment that I am going through
Which disturbs me and fills me with worries.
And I know that if you don't help me I won't be able to solve it.
(Make the request)
My mother, warrior and wise,
I know that through your intercession my prayer will be heard
And you will help and protect me to get to a stable place in life.
To the Virgin of Regla, Miraculous saint we dedicate this prayer
The Virgin of Regla is also seen as a miracle worker and for this reason, many pray to her, in search of a solution for the most desperate situations.
- Let's see the prayer to Our Lady of Regla to ask for a miracle:
Our Mother and Lady of Regla, source of our happiness
You who are the treasurer of Divine Grace
and the Most Holy God has made you dispenser of all his power in Heaven and on Earth
The many miracles you have performed show that you are the remedy for our ills
I beg your kindness so that you obtain for me, the source of all graces,
(Make the request)
Our Lady of Regla, I humbly prostrate myself before your holy Image
And I ask you not to abandon my request or leave it unanswered
In these times of trials that God has designed to enlighten my blind and stubborn heart
I come to you and tell you my present
You who are really the remedy for all ills,
The door to heaven