Cachita

My grandmother hid your image in the lining of her bra while my mother was still burdened with the mask of atheism.  We girls of the house learned to venerate you without knowing your name, entranced with the golden splendor of your cape.  Before knowing what to call you in one religion or another, we simply called you: Cachita.

You are the only point on which Cubans agree.   You manage to gather around you those who prayed to you in private so as not to go to church in the years of antireligious furor, and those like me who don’t know, if we cross ourselves, whether to start with the left shoulder or the right.

Today, as in other years, we should be buying sunflowers and parading your image through the most central streets of the city, but Hurricane Ike has overshadowed your day.  Around Nipe Bay, where they found your image 396 years ago, they are overwhelmed by the wind and rain.  An intense prayer rises from the homes of the whole Island: “Free us from all evil and with your protective mantle cover our devastated land.”

Translator’s note: Cachita is a nickname for the Virgin of Charity (La Virgen de la Caridad), Cuba’s patron saint.  Today is her Saint’s Day.

4 thoughts on “Cachita

  1. Ya paso tres dias desde la ultima post. Espero que estes bien. Aqui en Nuevo Orleans, estamos tranquilo, pere el hurican esta destinado por el estado de Texas. Cuidense alla y nosotros les guardamos en nuestros oraciones.

    ~Patricio
    New Orleans, La.

  2. Cachita nunca abandona a sus hijos. No importa en que pais esten pues es ella la Virgen de la Caridad que es la mismita Virgen Maria, madre santa de Jesus.

  3. cachita ase mucho ano que se fue de cuba ===ella avandono el paisel 1963 por que los cubano ===no creian en dios ==creian en fidel====elle regresara cuba ====cuando siclon fidel se valla======puebo cubano por ahora no pierdan el tiempo hasta los negro en el botecito le gusta mas aqui donde estamo 2 de ellos dice que no recresan para cuba en cuba hay mucho abuso para los negro=====el un de los 3 es alcolico dice que no le importa para donde lo manden= y yo estoy muy bien i ya yo estoy muy vieja para estar jinetera conto el repeto pa mis cubano

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