La Virgen de los Angeles Basilica
This quiet city has the most important event in Costa Rica for the Catholic religion which is the most famous pilgrimage to La Virgen de los Angeles Basilica which takes place on the eve of August 2 of each year; the faithful from all over the country and from other parts of Central America make a walk from their homes to the Basilica in order to ask or thank the Virgin. Legend has it that in 1635 the image of the Virgin appeared to Juana Pereira an indigenous woman from the area so it was decided to build a commemorative temple in the same place. The image measures approximately 20 centimeters has mestizo features round face torn eyes small nose and mouth and is made of different materials such as jade volcanic rock and graphite. In her arms and covered by the mantle the Virgin holds the Baby Jesus who rests in her breast while pointing with her right hand the Immaculate Heart.
Since the discovery of the negrita (as the faithful affectionately call it) the Costa Rican people have manifested their love and devotion to La Virgen de los Angeles through these beautiful traditions. One of them is the Dress and Blessing ceremony held on August 1st the eve of the National Day the priest of the Sanctuary puts on the image a beautiful dress that will use for a year. Then with the Virgin in his hands he blesses the faithful. On August 2 the day of the great feast the image is taken to the altar this altar is located in the square of the Basilica where the solemn celebration of the Eucharist is celebrated. After mass the great annual procession is carried out accompanied by the ecclesiastical and civil authorities along with thousands of faithful and pilgrims from all over.
You can visit this beautiful church at any time of year and enjoy the Cartago.