Our Lady of Aparecida, Talk:Our Lady of Aparecida
Our Lady of Aparecida
(also written as Our Lady Aparecida) is the patron saint
, represented by a statue of the Virgin Mary
located in the Basilica of Aparecida in Aparecida
in the state of São Paulo
. In Portuguese
the name is Nossa Senhora de Conceição Aparecida
(Our Lady of the Conception who Appeared). thumb|right|Statue of the Virgin
This shrine is the most visited in Brazil and one of the most visited in the Catholic
world. As the patron saint of Brazil, Our Lady of Aparecida is also remembered by a national holiday on 12 October
History of the Image
The history of Our Lady of Conception Aparecida begins in 1717, when news arrived that the Count of Assumar, Dom Pedro de Almeida e Portugal, Governor of the Province of São Paulo
and Minas Gerais
, would be passing by the village of Guaratinguetá on his way to Vila Rica, today the city of Ouro Preto
in Minas Gerais.
Three fishermen, Domingos Garcia, Filipe Pedroso and João Alves were sent out by the local authorities to find fish in the Paraíba River
. They went down the river and found nothing. After many unsuccessful attempts they arrived at a place called Porto Itaguaçu.
João Alves threw his net into the water and brought back a statue of Our Lady of Conception, but the head
was missing. He threw his net in again and soon reeled in the head of the statue. After that, according to the legend, the fish arrived in abundance for the three humble fishermen and their nets were full.
According to most sources the image had been sculpted by Frei Agostino de Jesus, a monk
from São Paulo known for his sculpture
. The image was less than three feet tall, was made around 1650, and must have been underwater for years. It is a dark brown color, is covered by a stiff robe of richly embroidered thick cloth, and wears an imperial crown which was added in 1904. Only her face and hands can be seen.
For the next 15 years the statue remained with Felipe Pedroso's family and neighbors came to venerate it. The cult
began to grow and, according to the story, many prayers were answered by the Virgin. The fame of the extraordinary powers of Our Lady spread throughout Brazil. The family built a prayer chapel
, which soon became too small. Around 1734 the priest of Guaratinguetá built a chapel on the hill of the Coqueiros, and public visits began in July 1745. The number of faithful increased and in 1834 construction on a larger church (the Old Basilica) was begun.
In 1904, the statue of Our Lady of Conception Aparecida was crowned and in 1908 the church received the title of Minor Basilica
Twenty years later, in 1928 the village that had grown around the church on the Hill of the Coqueiros became a municipality. Finally, in 1929, the Virgin was proclaimed Queen of Brazil and its official Patron Saint by Pope Pius XI
The New Basilicathumb
Because of the popularity of the statue another much larger temple became necessary, and in 1955 construction on this New Basilica was begun. Architect Benedito Calixto
designed a building in the form of a Greek cross
, 173 meters long and 168 meters wide; the naves have 40 meters and the dome is 70 meters high. It can hold 45 thousand people. The 272 thousand square meters of parking hold 4 thousand buses and 6 thousand cars.
It is the second-largest Catholic place of worship in the world, second only to Saint Peter's
in Vatican City
, and in 1984 was officially declared by the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) "the largest Marian
Temple in the world."
In 1980, still under construction, it was consecrated by Pope John Paul II
and received the title of Minor Basilica.
While in 1900 the number of visitors was calculated in 150,000, today that number is in the millions. According to the official site of the Basilica, in 1999 the number of pilgrims was 6,565,849.
The influence of the cult of Our Lady of Aparecida on Brazilian society is incalculable. In 1992 a study showed that 296 parishes were dedicated to Our Lady Aparecida while five cathedral
s had the same title. In addition many towns are named after the Virgin.
The Incident of the "Kicking of the Saint"
On 12 October 1995
, the saint's day of Our Lady of Aparecida, a controversial incident occurred when Sergio Von Helde, a minister of the Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus
(Universal Church of the Kingdom of God
, a controversial pentacostal
sect that controls some television and radio stations in Brazil), spoke on a television program.
Shouting "This is no saint. Can God really be compared to this ugly thing?", Von Helde kicked a clay statue of Our Lady of Aparecida (http://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/9512/virgin_bashing/kicking.mov external link to 884K QuickTime Movie
). Von Helde later stated that he wanted to emphasize his opinion that the image was only a statue of clay.
The episode had serious repercussions in the country and Von Helde had to be transferred to Africa
until the controversy died down. The initial commotion of the incident found support among the authorities. Complaints in the judicial system against the minister and against the IURD church were made by both private citizens and by prosecutors, with the allegation of crimes such as insult and disrespect for the constitutional right of freedom of religion. For several days the scenes of the kicking and the judicial workings of the case were in the news until the public lost interest and it was forgotten.
Aparecida in Spain
The town of Aparecida
in the Spanish
province of Alicante
is also named after the Virgin and also has an image of Our Lady of the Conception.
* Marian apparitions
* Black Madonna
*http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/mary0005.htm Our Lady Aparecida
*http://www.santuarionacional.com Santuario Nacional (in portuguese)
*http://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/9512/virgin_bashing/ The Kicking of the SaintAparecida, Our Lady ofCategory:Roman Catholic devotionsCategory:Minor basilica churchesit:Nostra Signora di Aparecidapt:Nossa Senhora da Conceição Aparecida