Our Lady of Aparecida

our lady of aparecida: every october 12 is our lady aparecida holiday in brazil

Hi there! Do you know why we have a holiday on October 12 in Brazil? It is the day of Our Lady of Aparecida, the patron saint of Brazil, and this Dica do Dia will explain a little about this popular holiday and the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida. You’re also going to learn about the prayer for Our Lady of Aparecida, the miracles she performed and interesting facts! Did you know that this religious holiday has a special connection with children? Let’s learn Portuguese and get to know all about this October 12 holiday in Brazil!

Who Was Our Lady of Aparecida?

October 12 is a Brazilian holiday and today we’ll teach you all about it. Our Lady of Aparecida is the affectionate name that Brazilians have for Nossa Senhora da Conceição, the patron saint of Brazil. She’s called Aparecida (appeared) because there are several reports of apparitions of Our Lady of the Conception in moments of difficulty, and because of her first miracle for the fishermen.

Want to know what Our Lady of Aparecida has to do with the fishermen? We’ll tell you the story. In 1717 three fishermen were fishing with no luck. They were fishing for hours and they couldn’t catch a single fish. When they were about to give up and leave, they decided to try just one last time. When they threw the net for the last time, do you know what they found? Evidently, a piece of an idol of Our Lady of Aparecida. After they pulled in the tiny idol of the saint, they cast their nets again and caught so many fish! This was the first of many Our Lady of Aparecida miracles yet to come. She then became a symbol of Catholicism and the Saint of Miracles.

When is it Celebrated?

Our Lady of Aparecida has her own day in Brazil and this is October 12th. The day of Our Lady of Aparecida patroness of Brazil was celebrated on several different dates, but in 1953 the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil decided that the celebrations would all be made on the 12th of October. This date was chosen in relation to the day of the ‘Discovery’ of America. Hence, in 1980, the date became a national holiday.

Want to know more about Brazilian holidays? Come study Portuguese in Brazil with us or have online classes and you’ll learn everything you want and need about this beautiful country.

How do Brazilians Celebrate this Holiday?

national shrine of our lady of aparecida in são paulo - second largest church in the world

It is very common for Brazilians from all regions of the country to travel to the city of Aparecida in São Paulo on October 12th. There you can find the Basilica of National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, the largest Catholic church in Brazil and the second largest in the world. Usually Brazilians go there to fulfill vows made during the year, to make new requests to Our Lady, and, of course, to make a tour around the sanctuary.

the inside of national shrine of our lady of aparecida in são paulo.

It is very common for Brazilians to tie ribbons in the church and make wishes for miracles they want her to perform. People also light candles to ask for whatever they need, and to make specific prayers to this saint.

Our Lady of Aparecida Miracles

Among the known miracles of Nossa Senhora Aparecida is the liberation of the slave Zacarias. Nossa Senhora Aparecida appeared at a sad moment in the history of Brazil: during the period of slavery, when the black people suffered at the hands of the landowners. The “Black Mother” as she became known, came to teach a lesson in life and love to others.

According to the story, the slave Zacarias fled a farm and was later found and arrested. On the way back, he passed by the chapel that had been built for the image of this virgin and the enslaved man asked to pray. At this moment his chains miraculously broke, freeing him. Faced with this miracle, the guard eventually released him.

Our Lady of Aparecida Prayer

woman praying at national shrine of our lady of aparecida in são paulo.

Finally, let’s learn about the Our Lady of Aparecida prayer. People particularly pray the novena, a prayer divided over 9 days. Take a look at part of the special prayer to this beloved virgin:

“Virgem puríssima, concebida sem pecado, e desde aquele primeiro instante toda bela e sem mancha, gloriosa Maria, cheia de graça, Mãe de meu Deus, Rainha dos anjos e dos homens: eu vos saúdo humildemente como Mãe do meu Salvador, que com aquela estima, respeito e submissão, com que vos tratava, me ensinou quais sejam as honras e a veneração que eu devo prestar-vos; dignai-vos, eu vô-lo rogo, de receber as que nesta Novena vos consagro. Vós sois o seguro asilo dos pecadores penitentes, e assim tenho razão para recorrer a vós; sois Mãe de misericórdia, e por este título não podeis deixar de enternecer-vos à vista das minhas misérias; sois depois de Jesus Cristo toda a minha esperança, e por esta razão não podereis deixar de reconhecer a terna confiança que tenho em vós; fazei-me digno de chamar-me vosso filho, para que possa confiadamente dizer-vos: mostrai que sois nossa Mãe!”

Our Lady Aparecida Facts

Let’s dive now into 7 interesting facts about Our Lady Aparecida!

1) Small and Dark: The statue of Our Lady Aparecida is only about 40 centimeters (16 inches) tall and is made of dark clay. This unique appearance has earned her the nickname “The Black Mary.”

2) Papal Visit: Pope John Paul II visited the Basilica of Our Lady Aparecida in 1980, and it was during this visit that he officially declared her the patroness of Brazil.

3) Miraculous Healing: Many people believe in the miraculous healing powers of Our Lady Aparecida. There are numerous stories of individuals who claim to have been healed of illnesses and ailments after praying to her.

4) Replica Statues: Due to the popularity of Our Lady Aparecida, numerous replica statues can be found throughout Brazil and in Catholic communities worldwide. These replicas function as decor for processions and devotional purposes.

5) A Symbol of Unity: Our Lady Aparecida is seen as a symbol of unity in Brazil, as she brings together people from diverse backgrounds and regions to celebrate their faith.

6) Papal Coronation: In 1904, Pope Pius X granted a special papal coronation to the statue of Our Lady Aparecida, recognizing her significance and the devotion she inspired.

7) Miraculous Survival: The original statue of Our Lady Aparecida has survived various challenges over the centuries, including a breakage in 1978 when it fell and shattered. Skilled artisans were able to restore it, and it remains a cherished religious artifact.

Children’s Day?

Many people believe that the Nossa Senhora de Aparecida holiday is directly linked to Children’s Day, as both are celebrated on the same day, October 12th. However, the dates were instituted separately, and they occur on the same day by pure coincidence. However, many religious take advantage of this day to ask that Our Lady Aparecida also bless the children. Let’s take a look at a special prayer that some Brazilians use, shall we?

“Ó Maria, Mãe de Deus e nossa Mãe santíssima, abençoai as nossas crianças, que vos são confiadas. Guardai-as com cuidado maternal, para que nenhuma delas se perca. Defendei-as contra as ciladas do inimigo e contra os escândalos do mundo, para que sejam sempre humildes, mansas e puras. Ó Mãe nossa, Mãe de misericórdia, rogai por nós e, depois desta vida, mostrai-nos Jesus, bendito fruto do vosso ventre. Ó clemente, ó piedosa, ó doce sempre virgem Maria.”

And you? What do you usually do on the 12th of October? Is it a special day in your country? Have you tried Our Lady of Aparecida prayer? Equally, what did you think about Our Lady Aparecida facts? If you are visiting São Paulo this time of year don’t forget to go to Aparecida!

Until the next culture-enriching A Dica do Dia!
A big hug from Rio & Learn!

Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
Holidays in Brazil
Independence Day in Brazil
History of Tiradentes
Basilica of National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida

This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

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