Erin M. shared some comments on my post from yesterday, the one where I linked to my column on Our Lady of Angels, who’s also fondly called La Negrita by the Costa Ricans. I wanted to share them with you, because they’re so fascinating.

She started by writing:

I visited La Negrita on her feast day when I lived in Costa Rica a few years ago. This is the first time I have seen an American talking about her – the story isn’t very well known in the United States.

I asked her to share more, and bless her heart, she did!

What is amazing about La Negrita is how unassuming she is – she is so tiny! But the people of Costa Rica (and of Central America in general) love her so dearly. Ticos (Costa Ricans) are so proud to call her their own.

When people make a pilgrimage to The Basilica of Los Angeles in Cartago they come from all over Central America. You see them on the highways walking, on bikes, riding horses, traveling sometimes hundreds of miles to visit her and make their petition. There is a small museum under the Basilica chronicling her miracles.

When I got to the Basilica, there were two ways to enter – either through the doors to the far left and right of the front entrance or through the center aisle, where people approached the altar on their knees, shuffling slowly.

I went with my host family, who drives there every year as a family. All my host mother’s children are grown, married and live elsewhere, but they come together to visit La Negrita together. I think this is true of many Costa Rican families.

It is a neat thing to experience – and her feast day is approaching [on August 2].

If you want to learn more, you can, of course, read my column 🙂 and here are some of the resources I used for my column:

Thanks, Erin M., for sharing your experience and for your enthusiasm for this dear title of Mary.