Basilica of the national shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida – Nossa Senhora Aparecida

Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, Aparecida - SP, Brazilija

Website of the Sanctuary

+55 (2 3104 1040

Every day: from 6.00 am to 9.00 pm

Nossa Senhora Aparecida – Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida – one of the largest churches in the world and receives about 12 million visitors per year. 

The greatest Center for Catholic Evangelization of Brazil is a mirror of popular international and national devotion to the Queen and Patroness of Brazil, Our Lady Conception of Aparecida – Nossa Senhora Aparecida.

In order to welcome approximately 12 million of pilgrims per year, the National Sanctuary provides its devotees with an area of more than 1.3 million square meters, with about 143 thousand square meters of built-up area.

Nossa Senhora Aparecida - Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida

Nossa Senhora Aparecida – The Cloak Ceremony

The Cloak Cerimony is a 40 to 50 minute celebration which takes place once a month, in the Chapel of the Apostles – a reserved chapel, and is monthly transmitted by Aparecida TV Channel every 12th day.

On this occasion, a Cloack is granted Blessings and afterwards it is cut into small pieces and given to the devotees participating in the Devotees Campaign. Nowadays, the Devotees Campaign is responsible for the continuation of the whole Sanctuary maintenance services and the social works.

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The way of the Faith

The Way of Faith is a touristic-religious pilgrimage, which takes as an example the Santiago of Compostela Way, in Spain. It was officially launched on February 11, 2003. The track connects the cities of Agua da Prata – SP and Aparecida – SP, on a 497km way. At present, The Way also consists of the cities of Tambaú – SP to Aparecida – SP.

Nossa Senhora Aparecida - Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida

Center for Pilgrim Support

Located in the National Sanctuary courtyard, the Center for Pilgrims Support was opened up on May 30, 1998 by the President of Federative Republic of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Projected to provide our visitors with convenience, cozy welcoming and leisure, it counts on a Food Plaza and 380

stores, besides the baby changing facilities, withdrawing machines, amusement parks etc. The infrastructure also counts on the Aparecida Aquarium. Located on the East Wing. The visitors may enjoy several tanks with sea species, fresh water fish and a pool with sharks.

Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora Aparecida in numbers

The specific area of Basilica of Aparecida consists of almost 72 thousand square meters and it includes:

      • the lower and the ground floors,
      • the Arcade,
      • the South Gallery,
      • the Central Dome,
      • The Chapels of Resurrection and Baptism,
      • the Brasilia Tower.

Inside the Basilica, on the ground floor, remains the Niche of the Miraculous Image of the Patroness of Brazil, exhibited from a 37 meters high retable. On this 25 thousand square meters floor, Eucharistic Celebrations are held which gather up to 30 thousand people around the Central Altar; during the outdoor celebrations, the capacity is up to 300 thousand people.

Nossa Senhora Aparecida - Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida

The National Sanctuary Religious Touristic Complex houses other important sacred areas: Cruzeiro Hill, where millions of devotees perform the Way to the Cross, Itaguassu Harbor, where the Image of Our Lady – Nossa Senhora Aparecida Aparecida was found, in 1717 and the Mother Church or Old Basilica, historical religious monument under restoration, and a 7 thousand square meters Permanent Crib, where scenes of the main moments of Jesus’ Childhood are portrayed.

The magnificence of the biggest Marian Sanctuary worldwide is present in each of its structural details: the Brasilia Tower is 109 meters high, including the Cross; the Central Dome, is 70 meters high; the Church Naves, 40 meters each.

The Sumptuous Footbridge, which links the Sanctuary to the Mother Church, is 392.2 meters length, and its highest part is 35.52 meters high above the ground. Cable cars connect the Basilica to Cruzeiro Hill throughout 1.100 meters.

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Welcoming all pilgrims coming from worldwide is possible as the National Sanctuary holds the largest parking lot in Latin America with capacity to park more than 6 thousand vehicles and extension of 285.000 m2, as well as a heliport.

Yet, the Complex houses the Center for Pilgrims Support, with 380 stores, including a Food Plaza, 874 restrooms, from which 55 are adapted for the disabled ones and the Pilgrims’ City where the Queen of Brazil Hotel is located.

Nossa Senhora Aparecida - Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida

History of Nossa Senhora Aparecida – Our Lady of Aparecida

In the year of 1717, three fishermen, Domingos Garcia, Felipe Pedroso and João Alves, led by historical and economical needs, went out for fishing in shortage of fish times. Under the mysterious actions of God, as they reached Itaguassu Harbor, the first thing that had fell into their fishing net was an Image broken at the height of the neck.


As they cast the net into the sea a second time, they fish the head of the Image. By getting the two pieces together, they realized it was Our Lady of Conception. After they had found the Image, fishing had become abundant and the fishermen felt the presence and action of God in that very moment.

For having “appeared” in such a way, people called it “Aparecida”, a name sacred by popular devotion, also being named Queen (1904) and the Patroness of Brazil (1930). Her Sanctuary was declared “Nationwide” in 1984 by CNBB – Conference of National Bishops of Brazil.

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The Blessed Sacrament Chapel

The Chapel internal Dome construction start dates from 2006 and conclusion from 2008. It is coated with gold plate porcelain tiles, with a 2 meters high bin. On the right of the Altar, amongst its main characteristics, the inscription stands out: “Panis Angelorum Cibus Viatorum” (“bread of angels, food of the travellers’) craved in the door entrance; and the granite floor adorned with double fish portraits together with the central carpet representing water, from the entrance to the Altar, symbols of the Spirit, Life and Grace

The Chapel of Saint Joseph

The Chapel of Saint Joseph is located on the left of the Central Altar. Services are celebrated there on off-peak days. The Great Dome stands out, all of it in shades of gold. The floor counts on drawings of flourishing lilies and, on the central aisle, are Stars of Davi. The Central Pannel located in the Altar is a masterpiece of Cláudio Pastro, and portrays Saint Joseph’s Biblical dream: “Joseph, son of Davi, do not fear receiving Mary as your wife, for what she has conceived is the Holy Spirit Grace…” (Mt 1,20-21)

The Chapel of Resurrection: a space for prayer and reflection

The Chapel of Resurrection was opened up in November 2007. It is located in the terrace John Paul II, at the end of the external column, and is a space for prayer and reflection. It houses the mortal remains of Bishops and Archbishops of Aparecida: Dom Carlos Carmelo de Vasconcelos Motta, Dom Antônio Ferreira de Macedo and Dom Geraldo Maria de Moraes Penido, besides de Devotees Memorial, a virtual memorial which is a tribute to Our Mother of Aparecida Home faithful co-workers.

The Chapel of Baptism

Located in John Paul II terrace, and at the end of the external columns. A gift from the Chinese family Sieh, an example of faith and devotion to Our Lady of Aparecida, was opened on August 15, 2010. The door is craved with the Tree of Life and the inscription “The Christ, new Adam, open the doors of Heaven to us”. The floor forms a sun and bears the word “Pax”, the Resurrected Salutation. The Dome, in gold, symbolizes the heaven that turns the Baptism into the Light of the World. On the bin, the
Procession of Lambs is craved in porcelain. In the center of the Baptistery, in white marble entailed with marquetry, is the Baptism Font. In the middle, a Cross, and under a Pigeon, the figure of Christ, which represents Baptism itself. In the front, the inscription “You are my son, I engender you today”, regarding Jesus Baptism. The Chapel also has three great casings, made of crystal and white gold, in which Easter Evening sacred oils are kept.

The Chapel of Candles

Located on the left of the Holy Door, it was built in the 70’s, and is one of the most visited places in the Sanctuary, with decoration, which reminds the Biblical passage of the Burning Bush. After being restored in 2004, the Chapel received a Cross, masterpiece of the sacred artist Cláudio Pastro, made of the same steel used in the Cross of Cruzeiro, measuring 4m high X 4m wide, besides the exhaust system installed on the ceiling, to minimize smoke coming from the candles burning. The Chapel is open Mondays through Sundays, 6 am to 7 pm, and, on a high-peak weekends, an average of 10 tons of melted
wax is taken away.

The Room of Promises

The Room of Promises houses objects, letters and Our Lady of Aparecida Devotees faith testimonies, referred to as “ex-votos”. It consists of an area of 1.300 m2. The ex-votos have been offered since the first Chapel made of wood was built in the Itaguassu. Years later, it was transferred to the Old Basilica and since 1974 it has been located on the lower floor of the New Basilica. In 2003, the Room was restored as it is now organized. During off-peak seasons, 19 thousand ex-votos are received monthly and in highpeak seasons, approximately 25 thousand objects are received. Approximately 87 thousand objects
adorn the Room.

Our Lady of Aparecida Museum

The Museum is located in Brasilia Tower, on the first and second floors. On the first floor, the Museum counts on a wide devotional and historical archive of Our Lady of Aparecida and Her Sanctuary. On the second floor, it is the history of the Museum, and the papal exhibition stands out. Together with the Museum, the Tower Belvedere is located on the 16th floor, with an area of 324 m 2. Furthermore, it provides a panoramic view of the city, and a chronological history from 1717 to 2007.

 

 

Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida, BrasilThe Footbridge

Launched in December, 1971, it links the Old Basilica to the National Sanctuary.
• Length: 392.20m
• Height: from 18.46m to 35.52m
• Width: 5.80m
• Metal Protection Bar: 2.60m high
• Supporting Structure: 11 pillars

Brasilia Tower

Built in 1961, it was a donation of the President of Federative Republic of Brazil, Juscelino Kubitschek. It has 16 floors and it is 109 meters high, including the Cross. All of its structure is made of gold and is 669 meters high above the sea level

The Cloak Cerimony

The Cloak Cerimony is a 40 to 50 minute celebration which takes place once a month, in the Chapel of the Apostles – a reserved chapel, and is monthly transmitted by Aparecida TV Channel every 12th day. On this occasion, a Cloack is granted Blessings and afterwards it is cut into small pieces and given to the devotees participating in the Devotees Campaign. Nowadays, the Devotees Campaign is responsible for the continuation of the whole Sanctuary maintenance services and the social works.

The way of the Faith

The Way of Faith is a touristic-religious pilgrimage, which takes as an example the Santiago of Compostela Way, in Spain. It was officially launched on February 11, 2003. The track connects the cities of Agua da Prata – SP and Aparecida – SP, on a 497km way. At present, The Way also consists of the cities of Tambaú – SP to Aparecida – SP.

Center for Pilgrim Support

Located in the National Sanctuary courtyard, the Center for Pilgrims Support was opened up on May 30, 1998 by the President of Federative Republic of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Projected to provide our visitors with convenience, cozy welcoming and leisure, it counts on a Food Plaza and 380

stores, besides the baby changing facilities, withdrawing machines, amusement parks etc. The infrastructure also counts on the Aparecida Aquarium. Located on the East Wing. The visitors may enjoy several tanks with sea species, fresh water fish and a pool with sharks.

Sanctury in Numbers

The greatest Center for Catholic Evangelization of Brazil is a mirror of popular international and national devotion to the Queen and Patroness of Brazil, Our Lady Conception of Aparecida. In order to welcome approximately 12 million of pilgrims per year, the National Sanctuary provides its devotees with an area of more than 1.3 million square meters, with about 143 thousand square meters of built-up area.
The specific area of Basilica of Aparecida consists of almost 72 thousand square meters and it includes the lower and the ground floors, the Arcade and the South Gallery, the Central Dome and The Chapels of Resurrection and Baptism, besides the Brasilia Tower. Inside the Basilica, on the ground floor, remains the Niche of the Miraculous Image of the Patroness of Brazil, exhibited from a 37 meters high retable. On this 25 thousand square meters floor, Eucharistic Celebrations are held which gather up to 30 thousand people around the Central Altar; during the outdoor celebrations, the capacity is up to 300
thousand people.

The National Sanctuary Religious Touristic Complex houses other important sacred areas: Cruzeiro Hill, where millions of devotees perform the Way to the Cross, Itaguassu Harbor, where the Image of Our Lady Aparecida was found, in 1717 and the Mother Church or Old Basilica, historicalreligious monument under restoration, and a 7 thousand square meters Permanent Crib, where scenes of the main moments of Jesus’ Childhood are portrayed. The magnificence of the biggest Marian
Sanctuary worldwide is present in each of its structural details: the Brasilia Tower is 109 meters high, including the Cross; the Central Dome, is 70 meters high; the Church Naves, 40 meters each.

The Sumptuous Footbridge, which links the Sanctuary to the Mother Church, is 392.2 meters length, and its highest part is 35.52 meters high above the ground. Cable cars connect the Basilica to Cruzeiro Hill throughout 1.100 meters. Welcoming all pilgrims coming from worldwide is possible as the National Sanctuary holds the largest parking lot in Latin America with capacity to park more than 6 thousand vehicles and extension of 285.000 m2, as well as a heliport. Yet, the Complex houses the Center for Pilgrims Support, with 380 stores, including a Food Plaza, 874 restrooms, from which 55 are adapted for the disabled ones and the Pilgrims’ City where the Queen of Brazil Hotel is located.

  • Mondays through Fridays: 7 am – 9 am (TV) – 10h30 – 12 am – 4 pm – 6 pm
  • Saturdays: 6h30 – 9 am (TV) – 10h30 – 12 am – 4 pm – 6 pm (TV) – 8 pm
  • Sundays: 5h30 – 8 am (TV) – 10 am – 12 am – 2 pm – 4 pm – 6 pm (TV)

Popular Piety

  • Our Our Lady of Aparecida Consecration: Mondays through Fridays, at 11:45 am and 3 pm; Saturdays, at 3pm.
  • Marian Hour (The Rosary): Mondays through Saturdays, at 2 pm.
  • Perpetual Novena: Wednesdays, at 3:15 pm and 7:30 pm.
  • Eucharistic Procession: Thursdays, at 10 am.
  • Marian Procession: Saturdays, at 7 pm; Sundays, at 6:30 am.
  • Special Meetings
    • Pilgrimage Coordinators: Saturdays, after 9 am services; Sundays, after 8 am services.
    • Mother Church Services
    • Mondays, Wednesdays e Thursdays: 7 am and 6 pm (TV).
    • Tuesdays: 7 am, 4pm (service for the sick ones) and 6 pm (TV).
    • Fridays: 7 am, 6 pm (TV) and 7h30 pm.
    • Saturdays: 3 pm e 7 pm.
    • Sundays: 7 pm.
    • Blessings: at the end of all services

Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida

The National Shrine welcomes millions of visitors every year. In 2014, 12,225,608 people visited the Basilica. The whole structure is maintained by about 2 thousand co-workers, besides the hundreds of volunteers, which welcome the pilgrims of Our Lady of Aparecida every day and support 7 social projects which the community benefits from. Under the Redemptorist Missionaries administration since 1894, the Sanctuary has welcomed millions of devotees every day. Inthe City of Aparecida, state of São Paulo, a Brazilian Catholic Heart beats and everything is available to the visitor, since “ Welcoming is
also Evangelizing!”.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Conception Aparecida, the greatest Sanctuary in the world dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God, is located in the Paraiba Valley, on the way to Rio – São Paulo and Minas Gerais, as well as between the two most important cities in the Southeast Region, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. A river called Paraiba River, stage of the devotion that gathers all Brazilians, flows in this Valley.
At present, the Sanctuary is a great evangelizing center, entrusted to the Redemptorist Missionaries care, who have been in charge for the Pastoral Works and general administration, serving the pilgrims coming all over the country and worldwide since 1894.
Three Popes had already visited the National Sanctuary: Pope John Paul II, in 1980; Pope Benedict XVI, in May, 2007, when he opened the 5th Episcopal Conference for Caribe and Latin America, and Pope Francis, on July 24, 2013, along the World Youth Days.

History of the Date 12th Octobre

The Feast of the Patroness of Brazil has already been celebrated in several dates: Day of the Immaculate Conception (12/08), on the 5th Monday after Easter, the 1st Monday of May (Marian Month) and on September 7 (Independence Day). The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB), in its general meeting in 1953, determined that the Feast would definitively be celebrated on October 12, for the following reasons: association with the Discovery of America Day; celebration of Children’s Day, and
also because October is the month in which the Image was found in the South Paraiba River, in 1717.
For the occasion of Pope John Paul II visit to Brazil, the then President of Federal Republic of Brazil, João Batista Figueiredo, enacted Law 6.802, of June 30, 1980, declaring October 12 Official National Holiday for public celebrations of Our Lady of Aparecida, as registered on the Brazilian Official Gazette of July 01, 1980.

The construction of the New Basilica

On September 10, 1946, its cornerstone ground breaking ceremony took place in the well-known Pitas Hill, where the National Sanctuary is based on at present. Earth levelling services started on September 7, 1952. However, the effective construction beginning occurred November 11, 1955, as the north wing columns had been set in concrete. The first service took place on September 01, 1946 and the first attendance to the pilgrims on June 21, 1959. The Sanctuary religious activities definitively started to happen from October 3, 1982 on, when the Image was transferred from the Old Basilica to the New Basilica. In 1980, the New Basilica, the greatest Marian Sanctuary worldwide, was consecrated by Pope John Paul II who conferred it the title of Minor Basilica. In 1983, the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil – CNBB officially declared Basilica of Aparecida a National Sanctuary.

From its beginning, the Sanctuary construction has been kept, exclusively, by donations from the Virgin Aparecida devotees. It is worth mentioning, as a matter of gratitude, that the metal structure of the Brasilia Tower and the Footbridge of Faith construction – which links the New Basilica to the Old One, was sponsored by the Federal Government, through the Presidents Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira and Emilio Garrastazu Medici. Dom Carlos Carmelo de Vasconcelos Mota was responsible for the beginning of the National Sanctuary construction (1952 -1978), under the administration of the Redemptorist Missionaries.

One of the highlights is the participation of Auxiliary Bishop Dom Antonio Ferreira de Macedo C.Ss.R., as well as the remarkable work done by Father Noé Sotillo C.Ss.R., among the years of 1968 and 1988. Responsible Technicians: at first, the Architect Benedito Calexto de Jesus Neto and, after his death, the Engineer José Carlos de Figueiredo Ferraz. The Sanctuary lining, the granite floor and the art on tiles started in the beginning of 2000, being the Archbishop Dom Aloísio Lorscheider, OFM and the sacred artist Cláudio Pastro always under the coordination of the Redemptorist Missionaries.
All lining and coating is scheduled to be ended by 2017, when the Grand Jubilee for 300 years of discovery of the Image of Aparecida
(1717 – 2017).

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