A song written in her honor will be performed and local artists will display their homage on canvas during a large Mass on Sunday for Cuba’s patron saint, La Caridad del Cobre.
Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski will lead the 7 p.m. services, and as many as 10,000 faithful are expected to honor the virgin, also known as Our Lady of Charity, on her annual celebration day — Sept. 8.
As part of the event, a song written by Miami-based Latin Grammy winner Jorge Luis Piloto will be unveiled at the Mass at the University of Miami’s Bank-United Center in Coral Gables. The song will be performed for the first time in public by local singer Ana Maria Perera. Profits from sale of the song will benefit the bayside Our Lady of Charity Shrine at 3609 S. Miami Ave. in Coconut Grove.
La Caridad del Cobre is considered an inspiration for many artists, including Spanish-language commentator Ninoska Perez. One of Perez’s colorful Virgin paintings is the cover of the record, called Plegaria por Cuba a la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, or Prayer for Cuba to Our Lady of Charity.
Last weekend, leading up to the Sunday’s celebration, the statue of the virgin, which was smuggled out of Cuba in 1961 and has been at the shrine for decades, took its annual boat ride on the Biscayne Bay in services led by Father Juan Rumin.
On Sunday, Rumin will accompany the image as it leaves the shrine at 4p.m. headed for the BankUnited Center, where doors will open at 5 p.m. Prayer and Holy Rosary will be at 5:30 p.m., led by Wenski.
“We expect thousands of her followers to come pay homage to her on her special day,” Rumin said.
This year marks the 401st anniversary of the discovery of the statue of Our Lady of Charity in Cuban waters by three fisherman.