Friday, December 27, 2013

Shrine and Hospice Built Near the Slave Mines

The legend of Our Lady of Charity appealed to native people still practicing pre-Columbian religion and descendants of slaves still practicing the religion brought over from West Africa.  A syncretized devotion to Our Lady of El Cobre spread rapidly and pilgrimages continued to be plentiful.   

 “The shrine flourished in the midst of a black pueblo of royal slaves and free people of color. During that period its reputation as a healing shrine grew and a loose and informal local devotion became institutionalized under the aegis of the Church. By 1756, Bishop Morell de Santa Cruz declared that "The sanctuary of El Cobre is the richest, most frequented, and most devout in the Island, and the Lady of Charity the most miraculous image of all those venerated [in Cuba]."