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A Cuban shrine of Our Lady of Charity. According to legend, a small statue of Mary and her Child was brought from Spain by an officer who accompanied Columbus on his second American voyage and who gave it to a native pagan cheiftain. but when the crew came to claim it, both the chief and the statue had disappeared into a nearby swamp. the statue was later recovered, mysteriously floating on a wooden plank. At a later date the statue of the Madonna was on its way to Santiago de Cuba but accidentally arrived at Cobre, where a child told them that Mary had said she wanted it to be. Until the Communist takeover, Cobre was a famous place of pilgrimage with thousands of visitors, especially on December 8. Our Lady of Charity of Cobre is considered the patroness of Cuba.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.