Foreign ministry officials report that a replica of the Virgen de los Ángeles is being placed in the Iglesia de Santa Ana, which is in the Vatican.
The Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto said that the placing of the statue has the blessing of Pope Francis. The ministry said that President Laura Chinchilla discussed the statute with the pope in 2013.
The placing of the statute will coincide with the canonization to sainthood of John Paul II in April, the ministry said. A Costa Rican woman, Floribeth Mora, is the recipient of one of the miracles that are required to elevate a Catholic to sainthood. She is expected to attend. John XXIII also will be canonized during the ceremonies in late April.
The Virgen de los Ángeles is the patroness of Costa Rica. The statue is a small black stone, but the casing is elaborate. The duplicate is the work of Taller Orfebrería Soto del Valle in Cartago.
The Virgen is the local manifestation of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ, who is the object of a massive pilgrimage in late July and the first two days of August each year. More than a million of the faithful trek to Cartago to seek her intercessions and to worship at the basilica there.