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Rosary Day 20: Our Lady of Charity in Cobre, Cuba

Our Lady of Charity

Anna ART | Shutterstock

Aleteia - published on 05/20/21

Today’s intention: For all pharmacists and health care personnel.

During the month of May, the Church around the world is joining in a daily Rosary for the intention of the end of the pandemic, as well as a specific intention related to the various victims of the virus.

Each day of the month, a different shrine will lead the daily Rosary, according to local practice.

The beginning and the end of the Rosary Marathon (May 1 and May 31) are led by Pope Francis.

See below to follow the list of the Shrines.

Watch the Rosary live at 6 p.m. Rome time (12 noon EDT) by clicking here. The video screen at the top will go live at the designated time.

Day 20 intention: For all pharmacists and health care personnel

Our Lady of Charity of Cobre, Cuba, is the patroness of the island nation. Her sanctuary is 27 kilometers from the city of Santiago, Cuba, in a town that has been dedicated to copper mining for more than four centuries. 

Devotion to Our Lady of Charity began at the beginning of the 17th century, when the statue of Mary was found in the ocean, in the year 1612.

According to three witnesses — two indigenous men and an African-Cuban 10-year-old boy — the image was found suddenly floating in the water of the Bay of Nipe. A board fixed to the image read “I am the Virgin of Charity.” The image is some 33 inches tall.

The Virgin has the Child Jesus in her left arm, and a cross in her right hand. 

She was initially brought to the town of Barajagua, but shortly thereafter was taken to the town of El Cobre (cobre is copper in Spanish). Her first chapel was built there in 1648. This chapel was enlarged and in 1680 became a shrine. 

Devotion to Our Lady under this advocation spread across the island, and attracted people of all races in Cuba.

On the inside of the shrine, a Chapel of Miracles has the ex votos of many who have obtained a grace through her intercession.

She is celebrated each September 8, the birthday of Mary.

Our Lady of Charity was declared the patroness of Cuba by Pope Benedict XV on May 10, 1916.

In 1927, the image was taken to a larger sanctuary. And in 1936, it was solemnly crowned by a delegation from Pope Pius XI.

In 1977, Pope Paul VI elevated the shrine to the status of Minor Basilica. And in 1998, Pope John Paul II visited the shrine, and crowned Mary as the “queen and patroness of the island.”


Holy Mary of Charity, who came as a messenger of peace, floating on the ocean, you are our Mother. We turn to you, Holy Mary of God, to honor you with our love, as your children. 

In your motherly heart, we place our anxieties and hopes, our desires and prayers. We pray for our divided country, and ask that all of us might work to build peace and harmony.

Rosary Relay for Pandemic

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