Vatican City, August 28 (RHC) –- Pope Francis has announced the placement of an image of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre, Cuba's Patron Saint, in the Vatican's gardens and he sent greetings to the Cuban Catholic community.
The Virgin of Charity is closely linked to Cuban history and to the island's independence struggle, Vatican Radio reported while giving the Pope's announcement. The image accompanied freedom fighters against Spanish colonial rule, and veterans of the Cuban independence wars requested Pope Benedict XVI crown the virgin, receiving his positive answer on May 10, 1916.
Eighty two years later, Pope John Paul II personally crowned the virgin on January 24, 1998 during a visit to Cuba.
On September 8, 1927, the Shrine of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre was raised on the Maboa mountain, in eastern Santiago de Cuba, as one of the most venerated religious sites in Cuba, with some 500 visitors every day.
The image of the virgin at the Vatican is made of bronze and was taken to Rome by Cuban bishops in 2008.
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