Shrine to Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre
3609 South Miami Ave. Miami, Miami, FL, USA
www.ermitadelacaridad.org - 305-854-2404
Shrine to Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre Miami Reviews
For a look into the souls of Cubans Nov 10, 2008
Better known as "La Ermita" or simply "The Shrine," this site is of huge importance to the Cuban exile population.
The story goes, the original image of Our Lady of Charity is from a parrish in Guanabano, Cuba. With the religious persecution following the "Revolution," the image was smuggled to the Italian Embassy. In 1961, the image was then passed to Luis Gutierrez as he boarded a plane for the US, who had been hiding at the Panamaniam embassy for 6 months. When he landed in the US, he was the only one of the people on the plane that were allowed to enter the US immediately. The cornerstone for the shrine was laid in 1967 and it was consecrated in 1973.
In the sanctuary, Our Lady sits in front of a mural depicting different religious figures important to the religious history of Cuba. Besides containing the image of Our Lady, there is also a vessel with soil from the 6 original Cuban provinces and water from the Florida Straits.
When I lived in Miami, every year, on the 1st of the year, my family would go together to pray at the shrine, and toss 12 walnuts into the sea for good luck. Whenever we were loucky enough to have a family member visit from Cuba, we would go there to pray. And even now, on my sporadic trips to Miami, I still go there.
But why is this shrine so important? Because of "Cachita," Our Lady of Charity. For Cubans, she transcends creed, color, and social status. For a lot of people, this is the closest to "home" they can return to. What's the #1 way to meet Cubans? Find a vigil for Cachita.
The website has extensive information on the history and worship of Our Lady of Charity and the shrine itself, if you can read Spanish.
So if you're interested in seeing a different side of Miami, outside the stereotypical tourist things, definitely check out La Ermita.
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