The story of how devotion to the Virgin of Coromoto began centers on a group of Cospe Indians. According to tradition, in 1651, the Blessed Virgin appeared to Cacique Coromoto and his family, and told them: "Go to where the white men are to receive water on your head so you can go to heaven".
The cacique, impressed by the event and wanting to comply with the Lady's wishes, communicated the news of the apparition to the Spaniard Juan Sánchez, who was passing through that place because he was on a trip. Several of the Indians received baptism, but not the cacique who missed the jungle where he lived and did not have to obey.
Before fleeing to the jungle, the Virgin appeared to the indigenous again and, before disappearing, she left a small scroll with her image in the cacique's hand.
The Coromoto chief, seeing that the Lady had not achieved anything with him, fled to the jungle, where he was bitten by a poisonous snake. He then began to ask for baptism, and after receiving it he became an apostle among the indigenous people and asked them to be baptized. Months later, Coromoto, now with the Christian name of Angel Custodio, dies and leaves behind a fervent community of faithful among the Cospe Indians.
Since then, favors and miracles have been awarded to the Virgin of Coromoto. The small image of the Virgin is the relic that is venerated today in Guanare, Portuguesa state, Venezuela, in the National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Coromoto, which was erected in the place of the second apparition.
On May 1, 1942, she was declared Patron Saint of Venezuela by the National Episcopate of that country.
On October 7, 1944, S. S. Pius XXII declared her "Heavenly and Principal Patron of the entire Republic of Venezuela", her canonical coronation was held in 1952.
The National Shrine to the Virgin of Coromoto was declared a Basilica by S. S. Pius XII on May 24, 1949.
Nuestra Señora de Coromoto is a Marian invocation venerated by Venezuelans. Her feast is celebrated three times a year: on February 2 and September 8 and 11.