National Sanctuary of the Virgin in El Cobre
The Temple of El Cobre (Ermita de El Cobre), only 19 kilometres from Santiago of Cuba, has become a traveller’s destination, because it is the main site of the Virgin of the Caridad del Cobre, patron saint of the Cuban Catholics.
Her altar was built in marble and her silhouette is generally situated as facing the chapel of the Sanctuary, which is entered through the back, located above the “Chapel of Miracles” (Capilla de los Milagros), where objects of many loyal parishioners lie. One very special donor was the American novelist Ernest Hemingway, who in 1956 gave the Cubans the medal for the Nobel Prize of Literature of 1954.
On December 30th of 1977, the Pope Paulo VI sent the African Cardinal Bernardín Gantin as his emissary, in order to proclaim the Temple a “Minor Basilisk“ (Basílica Menor). The Holy Father Juan Pablo II crowned the Virgin again during his visit to Cuba in 1998.
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