AMERICA/CUBA - After a century, the pilgrimage to Cuba's patron saint has been suspended due to hurricane Irma

Friday, 8 September 2017 popular worship   area crisis   natural catastrophe  

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Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - For a century the pilgrimage of the Cubans to Our Lady of Caridad del Cobre has never been suspended (see Fides 9/09/2016). Yesterday, for the first time, every pilgrimage to the Sanctuary was suspended due to Hurricane Irma which is heading to the coast of the island.
The news, launched by "elnuevoherald" in its digital version, was only released yesterday.
The pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Our Lady of Caridad del Cobre, patroness of Cuba, is a tradition of the people of Santiago who have been venerating the image since its discovery. In recent years this pilgrimage is also carried out by many faithful throughout the island.
The religious act begins traditionally in the church of St. Francis at 11 pm on the eve of the feast and gathers hundreds of faithful who travel about 20 km to reach the Basilica of Cobre. At 5 am on 8 September the pilgrimage ends with the Mass in the Sanctuary where the image of Mary is kept.
The coincidence of the holiday date with the passage of Hurricane Irma has caused much pain and suffering to the population. Although the hurricane is heading towards Cuba only the provinces from Ciego de Ávila to Guantánamo are in alarm.
"Since Cuba is Cuba, the Cubans have the privilege of praying our Mother as Our Lady of Caridad del Cobre!": said His Exc. Mgr. Álvaro Beyra Luarca, Bishop of the diocese of Santissima Salvador de Bayamo-Manzanillo, on the feast of Our Lady of Caridad del Cobre, Patroness of Cuba, on September 8, 2016. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 08/09/2017)


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