For many years the sea has been one of the elements that has most helped man to connect with his spirituality and also in the search for protection and sustenance.
Many are those who through the centuries have thrown themselves into the waters in search of food, to fight for their homelands and to reach new horizons.
And the protective deities of the waters of the sea are always prayed for a good journey and for coming out unscathed from the dangers that lie in wait.
There are many deities to whom throughout the years, people pray for the sake of asking for their protection in the waters of the sea.
These divinities represent in themselves the power of the ocean, the blue of the waters and the enraged waves. We can remember that in Greek mythology the god of the sea Poseidon was worshiped and offered and invoked to calm the waters and eliminate the latent danger in the mysterious depths.
Protective virgins of the sea
And in Catholicism, several virgins have been called throughout history as protectors of the seas and of those who sail them, invoked before shipwrecks, naval battles and all obstacles that men can on the surfaces of the waters. deal.
Let's see some of the best known protective virgins of the sea:
The Virgin of Regla, protector of the waters
The Virgin of Regla She is the patron saint of the town that bears her name in front of the Bay of Havana, patron saint of Cuban waters.
It was the symbol ordered to be carved in España by a parishioner who wanted that same virgin to be venerated in the rebuilt sanctuary 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 bishop used the best cedar wood he could find and after the sack of Tagaste, the deacon named Cipriano, saved the virgin, passing with her through a storm through the Strait of Gibraltar. The event is considered the first miracle of the Virgin of Regla.
For this reason, the dedication began to be known as the Virgin Patroness of the sailors, as a consequence of having brought the boat safely despite the storm.
It was from 1687, and until 1696, that in the town of Regla an image represented by an oil painting of the Virgin was worshiped, but that last year the Castilian Don Pedro de Aranda y Avellaneda, donated to the sanctuary the sculpture that he had brought on his first trip to Spainaña.
There the hermitage of the Virgen de Regla was built and people came from the most remote places to pay homage to it. On December 14, 1708, the Virgin of Regla was sworn as Patroness of the Bay, the key that she had at her feet, which symbolizes San Cristóbal de La Habana, was deposited by the Dean of the Council.
The festival of the Virgen de Regla has been carried out as a patronal tradition, since September 8, 1696, when the current image of the Virgin of Regla was located in the Sanctuary. That day you visit the Church and participate in mass, procession and other religious actions.
The devotion to the holy Virgin of Regla is immense today and in her is deposited all the faith of the Cubans and foreigners who visit the Shrine in Regla. She is asked for her protection against all evil.
Prayer to Our Lady of Regla to intercede for us
- This is the prayer to the Virgin, Lady of Regla to ask for her protection
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, immense abyss of mercy!
You who receive us under your protection and shelter to all of us who ask for favor, powerfully remedying the needs of all those who, afflicted, invoke you as the stories tell and proclaim those who in all times have implored your patronage by devoutly visiting your temples,
and especially the Shrine in the image of RULE, in which it seems you wanted to show more your power and charity,
for in this temple, and through this, your image, all find their remedy and their consolation; the navigators in the greatest storms,
invoking you as mistress of REGLA they get rid of such manifest danger and in the most lengthy and dangerous navigations, vowing to their sanctuary of REGLA, they happily achieve the port they desire.
Those persecuted by their enemies are saved by devotion to this, your image. The sick of all diseases (even those already deplored as doctors) in this one, and for you, heal.
The weak and handicapped limbs gain strength here and generally all the evils here have a remedy, as published by the walls of this temple and the miracles placed in them.
Venerating, oh, Queen of Heaven !, this, your image of RULE, we implore your patronage and favor asking you to reach us of your precious Son, the consolation of a good conscience, health and strength to serve and venerate you;
The remedy of our needs and especially that of the one for whom we make this Prayer, we hope, Madam, through your intercession, to achieve what we ask for, although our guilt for the efficacy of your prayers is less worth it.
The Virgin of Regla in the Yoruba religion syncretizes her cult with that of the Mother of the World Yemaya, the one that separated the waters by order of God (Olofi).
She is the orisha of motherhood. She is the keeper of all riches, she is sought in the sea, on the crests of the waves against the coasts and rocks.
Our Lady, the Virgin of Charity of Copper: Patroness of Cuba
The Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre and the Virgen de Regla are known as mothers of the waters and protectors of the Cuban seas.
The Virgin of Charity of Copper, Santa María la Virgen, or the Virgin Mambisa is the patron saint of Cuban Catholics and her sacred image was collected by three men who went to collect salt on the Entresacos peninsula, in the salt flats of Nipe Bay.
The discovery was made at the mouth of the Mayarí River, which at that time was closed by a delta called La Vigía, or French Key.
This is how the chronicles of Juan Moreno's memories cite the discovery:
Having settled in Cayo Francés, which is in the middle of the Bay of Nipe, to go to the salt mine in good weather, being a mañaIn the calm sea they left said key before sunrise, the said Juan and Rodrigo de Hoyos and this deponent, embarked in a canoe for said salt pan, and away from said French key they saw a white thing on the foam of the water, which They couldn't make out what it could be, and coming closer it seemed to them like a bird and dry branches.
Said said Indians looks like a girl, and in these speeches, when they arrived, they recognized and saw the image of Our Lady the Blessed Virgin with the Child Jesus in her arms on a small tablet, and on said tablet some large letters which Rodrigo de Holes, and they said:
"I am the Virgin of Charity", and being their garments of clothing, they were amazed that they were not wet.
The neighbors received the finding as a sign from God and immediately built the hermitage to serve as a temple to the image of the Virgin. Today, the Shrine to the Virgen del Cobre is located there, in Santiago de Cuba.
There the Cubans go to pray to the protective mother of the people, and they carry copper stones, sunflowers and candles to honor her and ask for her protection. The Basilica de la Caridad del Cobre is today one of the most revered religious sites by the Cuban people
On January 4, 1998, Pope John Paul II crowned and blessed the image of the Patroness of Cuba during the third mass he officiated in our country. Pregnant women pray to her asking for a good delivery and the safety of her baby, mothers pray to her, wives, men pray to her and the whole town prays to her.
The miraculous Prayer to the Virgencita de la Caridad del Cobre
- This is the prayer to the Charity of Copper to ask for her protection
Holy Virgin of Charity,
do not take your sweet gaze from our homes:
deliver us from misfortunes and diseases,
of epidemics, storms, fires,
rays and sparks and do not allow sin,
we will separate from the infinite love of your Divine Son
and allows that in a fiery silver chariot
travel the worlds, the angel of peace.
Most Holy Virgin of Charity, pray for us.
Sweet Virgin of Charity, defend us
now and at the hour of our death.
The Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre syncretizes in the Yoruba religion with Oshun, reigns the sweet waters of the world, streams, springs and rivers, personifying love and fertility.
Virgen del Carmen, Patroness of the sailors
The Virgin of Carmen, is considered the patron saint of the sea in many locations around the world, as well as in some marinas in various countries.
Mainly in Spainaña Since the XNUMXth century, the Virgen del Carmen has been the patron saint of coastal towns and seafarers. She is considered the patron saint of sailors and fishermen and she is one of the most revered in that European nation and in many countries in the Americas.
To celebrate their day, the sailors decorate their boats with flowers, ribbons and signal flags, and after taking the Virgin in procession through the streets, they embark her and lead her to the sea, so that she may bless the waters and provide protection against all dangers. .
There are four Spanish navies that have the Virgen del Carmen as their patron:
- the Sports and Recreation Marina,
- Merchant navy,
- Fishing Marina and
- the Institutional Navy.
On Mount Carmel the devotion to the Virgin of Carmen began, seen in chapters 17 to 21, First Book of Kings, of the Bible, where the life of the Prophet Elijah is described.
In them is the legend that indicates that the people of those lands of Haifa were pagan, and worshiped the god Baal. But Elijah, who preached Yahweh's messages, in the face of a severe drought, proposed to organize a sacrifice on the slope of Mount Carmel, each one praying to their respective God, to invoke the rain that had not appeared for three years.
Elijah's followers climbed to the top of the mountain.aña, and from there they observed that a small cloud rose from the sea. Suddenly the sky darkened and a heavy rain appeared. In that cloud, the church recognized the announcing image of the Virgin Mary, since almost 900 years would still be missing for her birth.
Since then many people have gathered on Mount Carmel to pray and do penance, and even follow a hermit life.
Already in the XNUMXth century, some devotees of the Holy Land chose the Virgin Mary as their patron, and installed in the same valley as their predecessors the first church dedicated to Santa María del Monte Carmelo and that was the cradle of the Order of Carmelites. , and the birth of the dedication to Our Lady of Carmen.
Since then, there have been many localities, mainly fishing, that celebrate large maritime processions on the occasion of the Fiestas del Carmen and transport the Virgin from the Church to the port. These acts are usually closed by singing the Salve marinera.
The Prayer to the sacred Virgin of Carmen for protection
- And this is the most popular prayer to the Virgencita del Carmen for the protection of all evil:
Oh, Most Holy Virgin of Carmen, may the protection of your Holy Scapular free me from all evil, danger, viruses, pests, disease and the snares of the evil one.
I come to you, oh most sweet Mother and I implore your Holy Protection, through your Scapular for myself, my family and the whole world.
May the power of your Scapular remove from us the enemy of the soul and humanity, from evil and sin.
We consecrate ourselves and we consecrate the whole world to your Holy protection, dear Mother. Oh, Virgin of Carmen; deliver us, keep us, protect us, and protect humanity from eternal loss.
Holy Scapular of Our Mother of Carmel, protect us from all evil and danger; deliver us from viruses, pests, pandemics, calamities, disasters, and prolonged disease.
At the hour of death, your protection be with us and free us from dying eternally. Virgen del Carmen, pray for us so sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
The Virgen del Carmen syncretizes in the Yoruba religion with the Orisha Oyá, lady of the spark, of the whirlpool, of the rainbow and of the dead, whose winds help sustain life after the waters of Oshún and Yemayá have given life and meaning or purpose.
Oyá it is also the air we breathe, it provides the air with the correct amount of oxygen to keep us alive and functioning.