Virgen de los Angeles

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Virgen de los Angeles Day
Observed by Costa Rica
Type Historical
Significance Celebration of Costa Rica's patron saint
Date August 2
Next time 2 August 2015 (2015-08-02)
Frequency annual
Basilica Los Angeles, Cartago, Costa Rica

The Virgen de los Angeles (the Virgin of the Angels) is Costa Rica's patron saint, also known as La Negrita.

According to tradition, La Negrita, the Black Virgin, is a small (less than a meter tall), probably indigenous, representation of the Virgin Mary found on this spot on August 2, 1635 by a native woman. As the story goes, when she tried to take the statuette with her, it miraculously reappeared twice back where she’d found it. The townspeople then built a shrine around her.

In 1824, the Virgin was declared Costa Rica’s patron saint. La Negrita now resides on a gold, jewel-studded platform at the main altar in the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles in Cartago. Each August 2, on the anniversary of the statuette’s miraculous discovery, pilgrims from every corner of the country (and beyond) walk the 22km from San José to the basilica. Many of the penitent complete the last few hundred meters of the pilgrimage on their knees. This basilica is equally visited by tourists and locals.

Virgen de los Angeles Day is a Costa Rican holiday celebrating the Virgen.

References[edit]

  • [1] The Pilgrimage to Cartago
  • [2] Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles (English: Lonely Planet website entry)