San Lazaro

 The cult of Saint Lazarus is one of the most popular traditions in the Island of Cuba. This worship emerged of the catholic and Yoruba religions and it is related to a poor leprous man, a friend of Jesus, revived in a biblical parable. Lazarus is compared to Babalú Aye, an orisha Yoruba, who was invoked to heal health problems.

On December 17th many believers travel from every part of the country to visit the Sanctuary of Saint Lazarus, in a place named El Rincón, 25 kilometres south Havana. It is a small catholic hermitage placed next to a hospital for persons suffering from leprosy. Visitors take their offers to that place and worship for the miracles received, mainly in terms of health, or just to pray for the familys welfare.

Babalú Ayé, que para los creyentes de la Regla de Ocha es uno y el mismo que el San Lázaro de las muletas, es la deidad a quien se le ruega para el saneamiento de las enfermedades de la piel y de las enfermedades contagiosas incluyendo las epidemias. Tenemos entendido que es sumamente milagroso pero si le hace una promesa tiene que cumplirla, porque San Lázaro es muy bueno pero muy firme y no acepta la desobediencia. Esta deidad es el patrón de los perros, sobre todo aquellos que no tienen dueño, los callejeros. Si no quiere problemas con Babalú Ayé, no maltrate a esos animalitos.

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