Virgen de los Angeles
|Virgen de los Angeles Day|
|Observed by||Costa Rica|
|Significance||Celebration of Costa Rica's patron saint|
|Next time||2 August 2014|
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 Nuestra Señora de los Angeles Basilica 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.
-  The Pilgrimage to Cartago
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