Costa Rica's Curious "Virgin of the Angels"

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In 1635, a woman stumbled upon the strangest thing in Costa Rica. It was a small black representation of the Virgin Mary.

Twice the woman tried to take it with her, twice it reappeared where she'd found it.


La Virgen de los Angeles is Costa Rica's patron saint.


When the townspeople realized the statue refused to be moved away, they built a shrine around it instead. Now, the statue's platform is one of resplendent gold and many fine jewels.

Declared patron saint of the nation in 1824, the Virgin holds high sway over annual pilgrims around the country and beyond. This singular statue draws penitent visitors to Cartago's 'Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles' each and every August who show their devotion by walking from San Jose to see it.

It's a very special piece of history, kept safe and sound inside a building that rivals its beauty.

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