Juazeiro do Norte
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|Juazeiro do Norte|
Location of Juazeiro do Norte
|• Mayor||Raimundo Antonio de Macêdo (PMDB)|
|• Total||248.558 km2 (95.969 sq mi)|
|Elevation||350 m (1,150 ft)|
Juazeiro do Norte Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒuaˈzejɾu ˈdu ˈnɔht̪i] is a city in the state of Ceará state in northeastern Brazil. It is located 528 km south of the state capital Fortaleza in the semiarid sertão. The municipality has a population of 246.515 (2008 official estimate) and covers 248 km².
Juazeiro do Norte is best known as the base of the charismatic priest and politician Padre Cícero (Cícero Romão Batista) (1844-1934). A pilgrimage in his honour takes place every November, attracting thousands of followers.
Juazeiro do Norte was initially a district of the nearby city of Crato, until a young Padre Cícero Romão Batista decided to stay as a cleric in the village. Padre Cícero was then responsible for the independence and emancipation of the city. Because of the so-called "milagre de Juazeiro" ("miracle in Juazeiro", when Padre Cícero gave the sacred host to the religious sister Maria de Araújo, the host became blood), the priest was associated with mystical characteristics and began to be venerated by the people as a saint. Today the city is the second largest in the state and a reference in the Northeast region thanks to the priest.
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