Pope Francis prays for Brazilians on feast of Our Lady of Aparecida

Pope Francis sends his prayers to the people of Brazil as they celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Aparecida, the patron saint of the country.

By Sr. Titilayo Aduloju, SSMA

Thursday, 12 October, marks a special holiday in Brazil, as the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Aparecida, the nation's patron saint.

To mark the occasion, Pope Francis took a break from the ongoing Synod General Assembly to pray for the people of Brazil.

“On the feast of Our Lady of Aparecida, I carry her in my heart. I fondly recall this city and the Virgin," Pope Francis said.

In a video message recorded in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope said, “May God bless us, and may she watch over you and all the people of Brazil.”

Pope Francis added, “I pray for you, and send my blessing.”

The Holy Father also invited Brazilians to pray for him, saying “Please, pray for me. For me!”

Pope Francis in Aparecida
Pope Francis in Aparecida

Pope Francis went on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Aparecida in July 2013 during World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.

After praying at the feet of the Madonna, he said “I had the joy and the grace of entrusting my pontificate to her."

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The discovery of the image

According to tradition, the famous depiction of Our Lady of Aparecida, a black Virgin Mary, was found by three poor Brazilian fishermen on 12 October 1717 near a river about 170 kilometres from Sao Paulo.

According to the three men, after the discovery of the image, they mysteriously started to catch large quantities of fish.

Miracles through Our Lady of Aparecida

Many other miracles have since been attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Aparecida.

Also, in 1736, on a calm night, the community lit candles around the image, but they spontaneously went out during prayers and rekindled themselves as the community approached.

A blind girl from the city of Jaboticabal visited Our Lady of Aparecida with her mother and regained her sight the moment she set foot on the Sanctuary.

Consecration to Our Lady

During his first Apostolic Journey abroad, for the 28th World Youth Day, Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass in the Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida.

On that occasion, he pronounced an Act of Consecration in which he asked the Virgin “to spread infinite favours over all Brazil”.


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12 October 2023, 13:16