Sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre near Santiago, Cuba
Welcome to the home of the patron saint of Cuba, one of the most important locations on the entire island.
A destination for pilgrims and popes alike.
The Virgin of Charity of El Cobre has been the patron saint of Cuba ever since two indigenous brothers set sail on a canoe through the waters of Cayo Francés along with an Afro-Cuban boy centuries ago and came upon an odd object floating in the sea. It was the statue of the Virgin Mary on a board that read, "I am the Virgin of Charity” (Yo soy la Virgen de la Caridad). She's revered daily and especially on the 8th of September. This destination is known as the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre, located 12.5 miles from the city of Santiago de Cuba in the town of El Cobre. Recent Popes have visited this giant Catholic temple, and its grand stairway sees faithful devotees who make the pilgrimage year-round from all over the world. They come to pray to the virgin who takes her name from the copper ("cobre") mines found near the church. This is one of the most important sites to visit in all of Cuba.