La Virgen de los Angeles (La Negrita)
La Virgen de los Angeles or La Negrita or Black Virgins she is commonly referred to is a small black rock that appears to hold the image of the Virgin Mary.
Legend has it that La Negrita first revealed herself to a peasant girl in 1635 in the site that today is home of the beautiful Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles, in Cartago, east of San José. Within the walls of the Basilica is a shrine containing the figure of La Negrita, which is nearly lost in the middle of the ornate altar.
The young girl, a mestizo (mixed European and Indian heritage), was looking for firewood when she came upon a stream when she noticed a rock that looked like a doll.
She brought it home several times, but it mysteriously reappeared at its original site.
Church officials concluded that it was the Virgin Mary revealing herself and authorized the Basilica to be built on the site of the discovery.
La Negrita is said to have miraculous healing powers, thus hundreds of thousands of people come to the shrine each year seeking cures for illnesses and difficulties in life.
Below the church are walls that are covered with thousands of tiny silver charms left as a thank you for cures by La Negrita. Many take home small bottles of water in the stream that is used to help in the healing process.