Story of Our Lady of Charity
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During the first years of the XVII century a beautiful image of the Mother of Christ appeared floating on the waters of the Bay of Nipe. After three stormy days it was seen in the early morning, and was picked up by three farmers that had been looking for salt, and who were always known as “The Three Juanes”. The image was on a small board, and had a sign that said: I AM THE VIRGIN OF CHARITY. They took it to a small villa called Barajaguas. Some years later they took it to the Parrish of El Cobre but it always disappeared from there, and returned to the same place. A girl called Apolonia kept saying that she saw it on the slope of El Cobre. After they prayed for some time, the town people saw like a glare on that place, and they built a small hermitage there; they took the image and placed it there where it is actually at the National Shrine.
In answer to the request of the War of Independence Veterans on the 10th of May 1916, Pope Benedict XV proclaimed Her Patroness of Cuba. During his visit to Cuba Pope John Paul II crowned Her on January 24th, 1998. Since the beginning She has been honored under the title of Our Lady of Charity, and many people go there constantly to pray and ask Her protection in times of danger and need.