Virgen de los Angeles

The Virgen de los Angeles (Virgin of the Angels) is Costa Rica's patron saint, also known as La Negrita. Virgen de los Angeles Day is a Costa Rican holiday celebrating the Virgen.[1]

Virgen de los Angeles Day
Virgen de los Angeles CRI 07 2018 0369.jpg
Our Lady of the Angels at the main altar of the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles
Observed byCosta Rica
SignificanceCelebration of Costa Rica's patron saint
Date2 August
Next time2 August 2023 (2023-08-02)


According to tradition, La Negrita, the Black Virgin, is a small (less than a meter tall), probably indigenous or mixed race, representation of the Virgin Mary found on 2 August 1635 by a native woman. As the story goes, when she tried to take the statuette with her, it miraculously reappeared twice back where she’d found it. The townspeople then built a shrine around her.[2]

In 1824, the Virgin was declared Costa Rica’s patron saint. La Negrita now resides on a gold, jewel-studded platform at the main altar in the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles in Cartago. Each 2 August, on the anniversary of the statuette’s miraculous discovery, pilgrims from every corner of the country (and beyond) walk the 22 km from San José to the basilica. Many of the penitent complete the last few hundred meters of the pilgrimage on their knees. This basilica is equally visited by tourists and locals.[3]

In 2014, a replica of the icon was enthroned in the Vatican City.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles". (English: Lonely Planet website entry
  2. ^ "The Pilgrimage to Cartago".
  4. ^ "Costa Rica's patron saint to be enthroned in the Vatican". The Tico Times. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2022.

External linksEdit