Apparitions and Miracles :

Our Lady of Aparecida (1717)

In 1717, the governor of the Province of Sao Paulo in Brazil was passing through a small city on the Paraiba river called Guaratinguetá. The locals wanted to have a feast in his honor, so three fishermen went to the river to fish, and they prayed to Our Lady for God to grant them a big catch of fish.


But the fishermen had had a lot of bad fishing days and were worried they might not catch anything. Casting their net into the river, they pulled out a headless statue of the Virgin Mary. Then they netted the head as well. After that, their nets were full of fish, more than enough for a feast.

The fishermen cleaned and assembled the statue. It happened to be a black-colored version of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. They named the statue Nossa Senhora da Aparecida Conceição, which, in English means Our Lady of the Appeared Conception.

After that, people came from all around to venerate what became known as Our Lady of Aparecida, and devotion grew. Many miracles were claimed. The first chapel was built in 1745 and now a large basilica is there. The feast of Our Lady of Aparecida is celebrated every October 12. The day is so important in the region that it is now also a public holiday in Brazil.