Adventures, Cuba, International

La Milagrosa- Cuba’s Unofficial Saint

In Havana, Cuba there is one massive cemetery. It’s the burial ground of over 2,000,000 people and it is called El Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón.

I spent a good amount of time wandering around here looking at all the different graves and the history that comes with them.

One memorial in particular really caught my eye. There was a statue of a woman holding her baby, and after asking around, I learned that she is known as “The Miraculous One” and Cubans have been coming to her for over a century to pray.

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The woman, Amelia Goyri, was only 23 when she and her baby died during childbirth in 1901. She was buried with her baby, who was placed at her feet. When she died, her husband was consumed with grief and convinced she was only sleeping. Every day, he would go to her grave, knock, and talk to her as though she were still there listening. When he was done, he would walk backwards out of the cemetery until he could no longer see her grave.

He did this for thirteen years until his father passed away. Amelia Goyri’s tomb was opened up to make room for her father-in-law, and it was then the family noticed that the baby, which had previously been at Amelia’s feet, was now in her arms.

Since that day, Amelia Goyri has been known by her nickname and hundreds of thousands of people have stopped by to make a wish or say a prayer. They walk up to the tomb on the right side, knock, touch the baby while making their wish, then walk around the back and backwards down the left side before knocking one final time.

Now, I don’t know how true this tale is, but what I do know is that around the grave are hundreds of plaques with words of gratitude carved into the from the people who’s prayers were answered. That in itself is enough to make me a believer, so I had to try it myself! I’ll make sure to keep you all updated on whether or not my wish comes true!

 

Let me know about some of the coolest stories you’ve heard while traveling below!

Xoxo, Emily

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