Even after Johnson moved to the United States, Our Lady of Charity continued to influence her life. In her new book, the bestselling and award-winning author shares her childhood recollections of the devotion to the patroness of her native country and stories of how Mary helped her deepen her faith and led her to Jesus. Johnson also invites you to know Mary in a new way and to allow devotion to the Blessed Mother to help you open your heart to others and to grow in faith and love.
The origin of the devotion to Our Lady of Charity in Cuba comes from a seventeenth-century story of three men who were tossed about at sea during a violent storm. They prayed to Mary for her protection and the storm suddenly disappeared. They found a statue of the Blessed Mother holding Jesus and a gold cross floating in the water. The statue included the inscription: “I am the Virgin of Charity.” The statue was completely dry as it floated in the water.
Our Lady of Charity is not a Church-approved apparition; nevertheless, several popes—including St. John Paul II and Pope Francis, who celebrated Mass at her shrine during his visit to Cuba in 2015—have supported devotion to Mary under this title.
Johnson, author of the bestselling My Badass Book of Saints, traces the history of Our Lady of Charity in Cuba and how the devotion was spread by emigrants as they left their country behind. Johnson weaves the story of the devotion with Cuba’s history, memories of her homeland, and tales of her journey back to Cuba for the first time since her childhood during Pope Francis’s 2015 Apostolic Visit.
Throughout Our Lady of Charity, Johnson shares her devotion to Mary and passion for her Catholic faith. This evocative spiritual memoir is part history and part memory, part modern-day travelogue and part meditation on the role faith, family, and devotion have on how we live and love.
Maria Morera Johnson is the author of the award-winning books Super Girls and Halos and My Badass Book of Saints. She also contributed to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary, and Gaze Upon Jesus. A CatholicMom.com blogger and educator, Johnson retired in 2016 from her positions as a composition and literature professor and the director of English learning support at Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
Johnson has spoken at a number of events, retreats, and conferences, including the National Council of Catholic Women, Austin Women’s Conference, and the Catholic Press Association. She also has been featured on CatholicTV and Busted Halo and in Catholic Digest and St. Anthony Messenger.
Johnson is a native of Cuba. She and her husband, John, have three grown children and live in the Mobile, Alabama, area.
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