Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
|Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Basílica do Santuário Nacional de Nossa Senhora de Aparecida
Basílica do Santuário Nacional de Nossa Senhora Aparecida
|Affiliation||Catholic (Roman Rite)|
|Ecclesiastical or organizational status||Minor basilica|
|Website||Official Shrine website in Portuguese|
|Architect(s)||Benedito Calixto Filho|
|Length||173 metres (568 ft)|
|Width||168 metres (551 ft)|
|Height (max)||100 metres (330 ft)|
|Dome height (outer)||70 metres (230 ft)|
The Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida is a prominent Roman Rite Catholic basilica located in Aparecida, Brazil. It is dedicated to Our Lady Aparecida, (a variant of the Immaculate Conception) as the principal Patroness of Brazil. Its official title in Portuguese is Nossa Senhora da Conceição Aparecida, roughly translated as Our Lady of Conception Who Appeared.
The present basilica was constructed nearby an earlier chapel which housed the statue found by three fishermen in the town of Guaratinguetá. According to local tradition, the group was attempting to catch a large amount of fish in the Paraíba River for a banquet honoring the visit of São Paulo Governor, Pedro de Almeida 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 old wooden chapel was originally built in 1745. The old shrine is a modest church in the colonial style built between 1834 to 1888. Since that time, pious worshippers have termed it as a basilica. 
Due to the following conflicting accounts on dates, places throughout the years: the Vatican enumerates the following recorded Papal decrees:
- Pope Leo XIII mentioned the Brazilian devotion to this image called "Fossa Berihora Gonceicao Apparecida" prior to his death in 1903
- Pope Saint Pius X granted a canonical coronation to this same image on 8 December 1904.
- Pope Pius XI declared that same Marian title as the Patroness of Brazil through a papal bull signed on 16 July 1930, also witnessed and signed by Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli.
- Pope Paul VI granted its first Golden rose on 12 August 1967
- Pope John Paul II elevated and consecrated formally as a Basilica on 4 July 1980. 
- Pope Benedict XVI granted its second Golden rose on 12 May 2007
In 1955, Benedito Calixto began the construction on the new basilica. The structure is in the Romanesque 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 102 m (335 ft). The basilica contains 18,000 m2 (190,000 sq ft) of space that can accommodate 45,000 worshipers. During celebrations on the feast day of the patroness, up to 70,000 can be accommodated in ancillary areas. 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 July 4, 1980, Pope John Paul II consecrated the sanctuary under the name Our Lady of Aparecida while the building was still under construction. The feast day for Our Lady of Aparecida is October 12.
Pope Benedict XVI visited the Basilica of the Shrine of Aparecida on May 12, 2007, during his Apostolic Journey to Brazil on the occasion of the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean. During his visit, the Pope awarded the Shrine a Golden Rose.
|A series of articles on|
|Dogmas and doctrines|
|Expressions of devotion|
|Key Marian apparitions|
- "Basilica of Aparecida waits 160,000 people (in Portuguese)". Terra Networks (terra.com.br). 12 October 2007. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
- "Our Lady Aparecida - History". AboutSaoPaulo.com. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
- "Our Lady of Aparecida – Patroness of Brazil". wydcentral.org. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
- "Brazil's giant basilica is backdrop for Pope visit". Reuters.com. Reuters. 6 May 2007. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
- William Thomas (19 July 2009). "Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil". Catholic Voice (CatholicVoice.ie). Retrieved 2013-02-22.
- "Prayer of John Paul II in the Basilica of Aparecida" (Press release). Vatican.va. 4 July 1980. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
- "Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI" (Press release). Vatican.va. 12 May 2007. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
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