- La Negrita
- The Little Black One
- Virgin de los Angeles
The image of Our Lady of the Angels is only about three inches high, and is carved in a simple fashion on dark stone. She has a round, sweet face, slanted eyes and a delicate mouth. Her coloring is leaden, with scattered golden sparkles. She carries the Christ Child on her left arm. Only the faces of Mary and the Child are visible; the rest is covered by a cloak that is gathered in pleats. The statuette is displayed in a large gold monstrance that surrounds it and enlarges its appearance.
While searching for firewood on 2 August 1635, the feast of the Holy Angels, a poor mestizo woman named Juana Pereira discovered this small image of the Virgin sitting beside the footpath near Cartago, Costa Rica. Juana took it home with her, but it soon disappeared only to be re-discovered at the same place beside the same path. The statue repeated this behavior five more times – taken to homes and then the parish church – and returning on its own to the site where Juana found it. The locals finally took this to mean that Our Lady wanted a shrine built there, and so it was.
The shrine soon became a point of pilgrimage, especially for the poor and outcast. The image was solemnly crowned in 1926. In 1935 Pope Pius XI declared the shrine of the Queen of Angels a basilica. The stone on which the statue was originally sitting is in the basilica, and is being slowly worn away by the touch of the hands of the pilgrims. A spring of water appeared from beneath the stone, and its waters carried away to heal the sick.