While the Virgin of Guadalupe is Latin America’s most famous home-grown icon of the Virgin Mary, it’s not the only one; indeed, it’s not even the only one in North America. Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles (“Our Lady of the Angels”). According to the story, a little girl found the statue on a stone one day, liked it, and took it home with her. The next morning, the statue was gone, and when the girl returned to the stone, the statue was exactly where she found it. She took it again, and gave it to the bishop, who locked it in a box. The next day, the box was empty, and the statue was back on the stone. In the Catholic tradition, a church was built on the site to venerate the discovery of the Virgin, affectionately referred to as “La Negrita” because of the blackness of the stone, and the statue remains there today. Additionally, each year, well over a million people travel to Cartago to see the site, leaving gifts and making appeals to Costa Rica’s patron saint.
Bonus Image: the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles in Cartago, Costa Rica.