Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Aparecida - Brazil

The town of Aparecida lies in the state of São Paulo. It is known as the most important religious city in the country, the point onto which pilgrims from all over the country converge. It is seat of the Basilica de Aparecida, dedicated to the Official Patron Saint of Brazil, Nossa Senhora Aparecida (Our Lady Aparecida).
In Portuguese, the word Aparecida means "appeared". It's a reference to the fact that a statue of Our Lady "appeared" in the river, without nobody dropping it there.
It all began in the 18th century, when some fishermen hauled up a headless statue with their catch. When they re-cast their nets, they brought up the head of the statue: it then appeared to be a Black Virgin.
Walter sent me these cards of the two basilicas in the town, the old and the new ones.

Photo by Erasmo Ballot
The old basilica is a modest church in the colonial style built between 1834 to 1888. The Basilica is known to the pilgrims as the former home of Our Lady of Aparecida.
This basilica is connected to the new basilica by a pedestrian bridge.

Estúdio Casal Fotografia
The construction of this new basilica started in 1955. With its 100 metre high tower, its 70 meter dome, its nave, 173 meters long and 168 meters wide in the shape of a Greek Cross, covering a surface area of around 18,000 m², this romanesque basilica is huge. It can hold up to 45,000 worshippers! In size, Our Lady of Aparecida is the second largest Basilica in the world, after St. Peter’s in Rome. John Paul II gave it the name of “Minor Basilica” in 1980.

No comments: