The eve of the day 12 October, feast of the patron saint of Brazil, many Brazilians will walk in pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Aparecida located in Aparecida, Sao Paulo, Brazil with an expression of faith and devotion to our Lady of Aparecida.
Throughout the year, devotees from all parts of Brazil come to the shrine, but during the month of October, the number of pilgrims increases. According to the Redemptorist Missionary of the province of São Paulo, Brother Alan Zuccherato, the Brazilian people have an immense affection and devotion to Nossa Senhora Aparecida [Our Lady Appeared]
Check out the interview with brother Alan and also the story of the singer Fernanda Silva, who talks about her faith, devotion and promise, by our mother, our Lady Appeared, for she was cured of a serious problem of bronchitis and shortness of breath. Use translation subtitle feature through YouTube
cancaonova.com: How do you characterize the devotion of the Brazilian people to Our Lady Aparecida?
Brother Alan: This trait becomes more pronounced in the title of Aparecida. We can prove this through the words of Pope John Paul II: “we must remain in ´ school of Mary”, and she ays: “Here, in Aparecida, The heart of Catholic Brazilians beats.” And Pope Francis said: “God offered to Brazil, here in Aparecida, His own mother”. The Pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Our Lady Appeared (Nossa Senhora Aparecida), affectionately called the house of the mother and of the Brazilian people, is a form of expression of this devotion.
We heard testimonies of pilgrims themselves that this is a trip worth it and it makes life more blessed. Through the novenas, prayer of the Rosary, our Lady’s chants and litanies, the devout person demonstrates his or her love for the Virgin Mary. It is worth mentioning that the Brazilian people are very Marian, as is, in our Lady, affection, tenderness, acceptance, help, intercession and maternal lap. We can say that each Marian shrine, parish and Community dedicated to our Lady is a little slice of heaven on Earth. The beauty of Marian devotion is exactly the mission that our Lady has: bringing her son Jesus to us and taking us all to him “.
cancaonova.com: How does the spirituality of the Pilgrim reveal itself in the Shrine of Aparecida?
Brother Alan: The shrine of Aparecida is always concerned about hosting well the pilgrim of our Lady. The Pilgrimage is always a good time to meet God, as this sacred Shrine is home to him, with a meeting of brothers and sisters who flock here to celebrate life, hear the word of God, participate in the sacraments. This experience of faith renews their hope and is a significant opportunity to resume important appointments of the Christian life, living the values of the Gospel and engaging more in participation in the community , parish and Diocese. It all takes place in a lively and vibrant participation, as prescribed in the Concilium Sacrossanctum, of Vatican Council II, on the liturgy: “the people have the right to full participation, conscious, active and fruitful in the sacred mysteries of Christ”.
The beautiful view that every Pilgrim expresses in his or her way: by the smile, by the exchange of looks with our Lady, hands in prayer, in tears, lighting a candle, offering objects of promises kept, blessings of grace received, coming on foot, by car , van, bus, bike, motorcycle, truck … Are many ways, always touching their heart touched, in the certainty that the Mother Appeared, for all, has been a blessing.
Especially in this National Year of the Laity promoted by National Conference of Brazilian Bishoips, the sanctuary is emphasizing and enabling further participation and presence of the laity, who have a valuable contribution, effective and affective, so are all partners in evangelization which happens in this Marian pilgrimage Center. So, our spirituality is based on being “salt of the Earth and light of the world”.
.: The name of Maria is sweet and soft to his devotees
.: You’ve done promise? It’s good to make that promise?
.: Reflect on the model of faith of the young Virgin Mary
.: Understand why our Lady is Queen and Mother of faith
cancaonova.com: What is the connection of Our Lady Aparecida to the backcountry people?
Brother Alan: The image of Our Lady of Aparecida, found in the waters of the river Paraíba do Sul, in 1717, fished out of the river by the hands of three simple fishermen. From the beginning, the history of Aparecida identifies with the humblest, the historical context of slavery in our country, when the miraculous fishing happened and many other facts came forth that prove Our Lady Appeared to the backcountry people and to those who , in simplicity of heart, praise God. However, it is good to remember that all resort to the protection of our Lady, are the most rich, poor, of various cultures, literate or not; count all their grace and blessing, with the miracle of love is what our Lady specializes in reach for us, interceding to your son Jesus.
cancaonovacom: This October, the shrine receives a large number of pilgrims. How do you see and feel the devotion of the people Mother Appeared?
Brother Alan: It’s a great emotion to remember the nearly 13 million of pilgrims visiting the shrine of Aparecida during the year. This is already a fact that itself evangelizes and draws attention! This presence and the manifestation of the unspeakable joy of the Pilgrim makes us sure that: “how beautiful is the religion that remember the mother of Jesus” and confirms what the founder of the Congregation of the missionaries Redemptorists, St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori says “the true devotee of Mary never loses”. Here we pray, we rejoice in and cry with the story and life of each, this daily celebration let us always become more delighted and happy in the mission that we carry out.
By Alessandra Borges and Leticia Barbosa