The Cathedral Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida - Sao Paulo - Brazil - South America - Catholicism
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It is the second largest church in the world, after St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
Internal capacity of 30,000 and external of 300,000. It's living proof of the faith of
the Brazilian people.
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The Cathedral Basilica of the National
Shrine of Our Lady
Aparecida - Sao Paulo - Brazil
Portuguese: Catedral Basílica Santuário
Nacional de Nossa Senhora Aparecida
is a prominent Roman Rite Catholic
basilica in Aparecida, Brazil.
It is dedicated to Our Lady of Aparecida,
(a variant of the Immaculate Conception)
as the principal Patroness of Brazil. 'Nossa
Senhora da Conceição Aparecida' roughly
translates to 'Our Lady of Conception
The site has its origins in the finding
of a statue of the Virgin Mary.
According to local tradition, three
fishermen were attempting
to catch a large amount of fish in
the Paraíba River for a banquet
honoring the visit of São
Paulo Governor in 1717.
Despite their prayers, their attempts
were fruitless until late in the day,
one of the fishermen cast his net and
pulled it back to find the statue of
the Virgin Mary. Upon his next cast,
he found the head. The group cleaned
the statue, wrapped it in cloth,
and returned to their task to find their
fortunes had changed and they were
able to obtain all the fish they needed.
The statue is believed to be the work
of Frei Agostino de Jesus, a monk
residing in São Paulo.
The statue was originally housed at
the home of Felipe Pedroso, one
of the fisherman who found it.
This became a popular site for visitors
wishing to pray to the statue,
leading Pedroso's family to build a small
chapel to house the statue -
and so it all began!
Pope Leo XIII mentioned the Brazilian
devotion to this image in 1903
Pope Pius X granted a canonical
coronation to this same image on 1904.
Pope Pius XI declared that same Marian
title as the Patroness of Brazil through
a papal bull signed on 1930 Pope
John Paul II elevated and consecrated
formally as a Basilica on 1980.
Pope Benedict XVI granted its
second Golden rose on 2007
In 1955 Benedito Calixto began the
construction on the new basilica.
The structure is in the Romanesque
Revival style and takes the form of a
Greek Cross with arms 188 m (617 ft)
in length and 183 m (600 ft) in width.
The dome is 70 m (230 ft) high and
the tower reaches a height of 109 m
(358 ft). The basilica contains
23,000 m2 (250,000 sq ft) of space.
The main church hall can accommodate
30,000 people, which can expand
to 300,000 during external celebrations.
The grounds contain a shopping
mall, medical clinic, restaurants and a
272,000 m2 (2,930,000 sq ft) parking
lot that can hold 4,000 buses
and 6,000 cars.
On 4 July 1980, Pope John Paul II
consecrated the sanctuary under the
name Our Lady of Aparecida. The
feast day for Our Lady of Aparecida
is 12 October. Pope Benedict XVI visited
the Basilica of the Shrine of Aparecida
on 12 May 2007, during his Apostolic
Journey to Brazil on the occasion of
the Fifth General Conference of the
Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean.
On the occasion of World Youth Day,
Pope Francis visited the
basilica on 24 July 2013
On the occasion of World Youth Day, Pope Francis visited the basilica on 24 July 2013.