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Cuban artists celebrate the island’s patron La Virgen de la Caridad in 2022

La Virgen de la Caridad continues to inspire various forms of art to this day

Futurama Art Galleries will host its 7th annual La Virgen de la Caridad (Our Lady of Charity) collective exhibition from September 2 to 10. This has been a long-time tradition in Little Havana, where Cubans come together to honor their Afro-Cuban deity, Ochun or Cachita.

The reception of the event is on September 8, since this date marks the feast day of Our Lady of Charity. More details about the event and its symbolic history are below.

About La Virgen de la Caridad (Our Lady of Charity)

On September 24, 1915, Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre was named Patron Saint of Cuba. As a representative of the Cuban Liberation Army veterans, Major General Jesús Rabí petitioned that the Virgin of La Caridad del Cobre should be elevated to sainthood by the Catholic Church.

Caridad, also known as La Virgen, Cachita, Nuestra Señora, Ochun (Yoruba tradition), and Our Lady of Charity (English), is a household name among Catholics and Afro-Cubans. She serves as a guardian of peace and protection and has been integrally linked to the country’s culture for over 400 years.

Today, sacred stature of la Virgen de la Caridad is not just religious but also a subject of contemporary art. Cachita is the African goddess of motherly affection, womanly strength, sensuality, and the beauty of dark skin.

A portrait of Cachita painted by Raul Bravo.

How she is being celebrated today

It has been over 400 years since three Cuban farmers were stranded in a three-day storm in the Bay of Nipe off Cuba when a vision of the Virgin Mary first appeared to them. The farmers were praying for calm and longing for hope after the storm, and just as the storm subsided, something floated toward them. It was a completely dry statue depicting the Virgin Mary, bearing the message, “Yo Soy La Virgen de la Caridad,” which means “I am the Virgin of Charity.”

This image of Our Lady of Charity is still prominent in the works of Cuban artists today. They paint portraits depicting her shimmering gold lamé gown, as shown above. She holds Jesus in her right arm and a gold cross in her left.

Futurama Art Galleries is known for hosting multicultural experiences and exhibits where they bring local artists together and celebrate their work. For more information, please visit Futurama Art Galleries 1637 Calle 8.

We love celebrating all things art and culture at Calle Ocho News. Stay tuned to our news publication to keep up with the latest news, major events, activities, and more happening in Miami.

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