Saint Mary of Aparecida Day is celebrated on October 12 and is considered a national holiday in Brazil.
This is the date that honors the country’s patron saint, who is also one of the main saints of Catholicism.
The Saint Mary of Aparecida Day was officially instituted based on the decree of Law No. 6,802, of June 30, 1980.
October 12 was chosen for the holiday, as the date already contained other important facts, such as the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas, on October 12, 1942, and in the year 1822, on the same day, after the independence of Brazil, the nation won its first emperor, Dom Pedro I.
History of Saint Mary of Aparecida
According to the legend, in the year 1717, fishermen launched their nets in the Paraíba do Sul River, in order to catch large fish for a special dinner for the Count of Assumar.
They tried hard, but were unable to catch anything. When he was about to give up, a fisherman named João Alves, took an image of Saint Mary, first the body and then the head, and wrapped it in a mantle. Then, like their nets, which had hitherto been empty, they abounded in fish.
Seventeen years after the find, the first chapel was built, which quickly became a pilgrimage spot for travelers.
In 1868, Isabel, Princess of Brazil, offered a blue mantle and a crown set with diamonds in the image.
Saint Mary of Aparecida, was proclaimed Queen of Brazil and her Official Patron on July 16, 1930, by decree of Pope Pio and, 50 years later, it was officially decreed that October 12 would be an official holiday in the country.
On the Day of Saint Mary of Aparecida, Children’s Day is also celebrated.