|Nossa Senhora da Conceição Aparecida. "Saint Patron of Brazil"|
After dinner, miracles started happening for anyone who prayed to the statue and before you knew it, pilgrims were pilgrimaging and lining up to see her. One slave named Joaquem prayed at her feet and was not only healed of his maladies but became free. More followed and thinking they were on to a good thing, Dom, João, and Filipe built a roof over her head, started charging admission and bought more beer. Over the years, a few Popes even took notice and sent their blessings. Jump 300 years, and she now has a massive cathedral over her head. The dark statue is in the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, near São Paulo. The Roman Catholic Church in Brazil celebrates her feast day every October 12. Since the basilica's consecration 1980 by Pope John Paul II, it has also been a public holiday in Brazil. The Basilica is the fourth most popular Marian shrine in the world and holds up to 45,000 worshippers!
The statue has also merited worldwide controversy in May 1978, when a Protestant intruder stole the clay statue from its shrine and broke it into pieces, and another in 1995, when a Protestant minister slandered and vandalized a copy of the statue in national Brazilian television.
Anyhow, tomorrow is a day of feasting in the honour of this statue and all of her miracles.
|The Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida|
|Our Lady of Aparecida in Tucuma|
For dinner, I was able to get the keys to a pickup and go to the Casa Da Vovo for a smorg. It was delicious (except for the calf's testicles)!