Living for 30 years in Campo Grande, 90-year-old Dionísio Duran, along with his wife Taltinei Duran, 87, set aside Tuesday afternoon, the Day of Our Lady Aparecida, to admire the motorcade that carried the image of the patron saint of Brazil. Without driving to accompany the car trail, they participated with a replica in front of their house, in Bairro Santo Amaro.
When he heard the sound of vehicles passing by, Taltinei reports that he soon went to the front of the residence. Her husband, in a wheelchair, accompanied her. They were both very emotional, because devotion has a reason.
The image they carry with them, they said, came from far away, from São José do Rio Preto, a municipality in the interior of São Paulo. In the meantime, it was blessed in Aparecida do Norte (SP), a city whose church, initially built in 1745, receives millions of devotees a year to pray to the saint.
“She was the patroness of a church when we lived there. It has been 30 years since we moved to Campo Grande. After that, my son brought the image to me. It has a great meaning,” narrates Taltinei.
She says that her son intends to build a church in Corumbá, 419 kilometers from the capital, and that the intention is for Nossa Senhora Aparecida to be the patron saint.
Amid difficult days due to the pandemic, and the resulting isolation, the couple says they never lost confidence in the saint. “All the problems have been solved because of her”, pointed out Dionísio, who says that he is almost recovering the movements of his leg, after a CVA (Cerebral Vascular Accident).
Devotion – Around 4:00 pm today, religious marched through the streets of the city, starting from Avenida Presidente Vargas. During the holiday, with little traffic flow in Campo Grande, the faithful drove along stretches of Madrid and Noroeste avenues, in addition to Orla Morena, until they reached the Igreja Matriz in Vila Planalto.
Last year, the church that organized the act counted about 300 vehicles. This year, the movement was approximately a third of that. Still, Father Jair da Conceição Máximo, who led the cars in a pickup truck with the statue in the body, said he had exceeded expectations. “I was even surprised by the amount. The pandemic has reduced the number of faithful present in the church”, he explains.
The Brazilian people are very devoted to Our Lady Aparecida. Therefore, there are still many people who do not stop participating”, says the priest.
According to him, with sanitary restrictions and the fear of contracting the disease, many people stopped attending Christian temples, and therefore, today’s celebration is also to try to attract those who have not returned to religious routine. “A lot of people didn’t come back. So, the motorcade, in addition to bringing hope wherever it goes, is to call people to see the mass that takes place every week”.
In the motorcade, Mariana de Souza Alves, 64, came with her daughter Andreia de Souza, 35, and two granddaughters. Inside the car, they said that it is a great joy to participate in the religious demonstration. “We’ve been praying a lot for the pandemic to go away, and thank God it’s going.
Professor Victor Miranda, 34 years old, along with his wife Leila Maria and their two dogs, reports that his family was one of the few in the social circle who continued to attend church, despite the pandemic. During that time, he says, they dedicated themselves to helping the community through donations. “We believe in the importance of helping others”.
Our Lady – The date commemorates the Brazilian patron saint, who was already a symbol present in the country’s daily life even before there was a national anthem here, or even the flag we know.
According to historians, a figure of the saint was found by three fishermen in the Paraíba do Sul River in 1717. The first chapel, in Aparecida, was inaugurated in 1745, and it carries the image of Nossa Senhora da Conceição Aparecida, with her blue cloak and her gold crown, which was donated by Princess Isabel in 1884.