Aparecida is 170 km from São Paulo city and belongs to a region called Vale do Paraíba. The city received this name because, in 1717, fishermen found in Paraíba do Sul River a statue of Our Lady of Aparecida. The miraculous fishing was a sign that the religious vocation of the city was consecrated.
In 1745, the image won a chapel, in 1888, it needed to be expanded and became the Main Basilica, currently called the “Old Basilica.” The village also has grown to become the city of Aparecida. Known worldwide, the city receives annually millions of people, from all over the Country and abroad to demonstrate their faith to the patron saint of Brazil.
In the city there are several old buildings and churches that have infrastructure for visitation, among them the biggest Catholic temple in the Country, the National Shrine, also called the New Basilica. Built in 1955 due to the growing number of worshippers, the new temple is the largest center of religious pilgrimage of Latin America.
Passarela da Fé (Walkway of Faith) connects the Old Basilica to the National Shrine. Its format was designed in the shape of an “S,” in the honor of Our Lady of Aparecida. The tourist complex of the city also covers Porto Itaguaçu, which marks the spot where the statue of Our Lady was found, the Missionary Seminary Bom Jesus, Morro do Cruzeiro, with its sculptures representing the Via Sacra, and São Benedito Church, inaugurated in 1918.
Among the festivities that move the city are of São Benedito Festival, which takes place a week after Easter, and of Our Lady of Aparecida, which takes place in the month of October, with a festive novena in the National Shrine. During the Carnival, the city offers retreats and activities for those who also seek healthy fun during the festivities of Momo.