Novo Hamburgo (Thursday, 10.09.2014, Gaudium Press) “A Sunday for the Patroness of Brazil” is the title of an article by Bishop Hastenteufel Zeno, of the Diocese of Novo Hamburgo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The bishop says that as the Church in Brazil will celebrate the Feast of Our Lady Aparecida, on Sunday, he will do a Sunday commentary on Mary, under the title of of Our Lady Aparecida, considering the many devotees she has in Brazil.
|Bishop Hastenteufel Zeno, of the Diocese
of Novo Hamburgo, Brazil
According to Bishop Zeno, most people know the story of the finding of this miraculous statue, in October 12, 1717, when two fishermen, maybe slaves, were send to fish in the river “Paraíba do Sul”, in order to prepare a nice meal for an illustrious visitor. The bishop remembered that these men were fishing and at the same time praying, when suddenly they found in their net a black image but without its head. Soon after, they caught the head of the image as well. They put the two pieces together, they prayed once more, and caught a miraculous catch.
“This fact became quiet known. The people of the village placed a blue mantle on the statue, similar to the veil women used in those times. This is how Our Lady of Aparecida looked for the first time. A small chapel was erected and later a bigger one, and finally in 1888 the old basilica was inaugurated” he added.
Still according to the bishop, in 1980 Pope John Paul II consecrated the new basilica, which annually receives approximately 12 million pilgrims. In his opinion, this is a real phenomenon of Brazilian religiosity, which manages to attract multitudes who come to worship the Mother of God and sought her intercession.
He also notes that the Church has in Aparecida a great instrument of evangelization.
Bishop Zeno recalls that the liturgy in this shrine uses the text of Esther of the Old Testament, in which this Queen approaches the King of the enemies and makes to him two requests. “Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request”” (Esther 7.3)
Finally, the Bishop points out that the Gospel passage which refers to the wedding at Cana puts Jesus mother helping with the cooking at the wedding feast and that she is the one who asks her Son to do something to help those poor people who were in a difficult situation. Although Jesus had told his mother that His time has not come yet, she did not hesitate and she said to the servants: “Do whatever He commands you to do” (John 2,5).
“She is really convinced that her Son could resolve all their troubles. Today our people still have this same great confidence in the Mother of God”, he ponders.
Moreover, the bishop emphasizes that in Revelation she is mentioned as “the great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.” (FB)