Essay "Our Lady of Aparecida - Patroness of Brazil"
There were no fish.
One morning in October 1717, three men fished the body of an image of Our Lady on the Paraíba do Sul river. Shortly after, they caught the head of the image of the saint.
Their nets were filled with fish. Scarcity has become abundance.
The broken image was taken to the house of one of them and placed in a small oratory. The story of the fish miracle became known. The inhabitants of the region began to gather every Saturday to pray the rosary and to thank the holy "appeared" (Aparecida) of the waters, for the abundance.
Abundance in every way: the oratory turned into a chapel, the chapel into a church, the church into a Basilica. Besides the fish, people, flowers, candles, rituals of requests and thanks were also multiplied. The region now known as Aparecida do Norte, in the countryside of São Paulo, finally became consecrated as the largest sanctuary in Brazil.
In the days leading up to the celebration of the patroness, thousands of people come in pilgrimage to pay homage to the saint. The city is crowded. Souvenir shops testify to abundance through the sale of souvenirs. The candle room is further illuminated by requests and thanks. The museum of the exvotos gains a flood of new photos and utensils that prove the miracles attributed to the saint. The Catholic community reverberates the original miracle of passing from scarcity to abundance.