Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Tuesday, 09-29-2015, Gaudium Press) The Shrine of “Our Lady of the Penha” in the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, celebrates, this year, its 380 anniversary.
This year, the traditional celebrations will include a “Walk for Peace”, in connection with the “Year of Peace”, which has been launched by the Brazilian Catholic Conference of Bishops (CNBB).
Beginning on feast St. Francis of Assisi, October 4, the walk wil have as its motto: “Mary, the example of hope for the mission.”
At the so called “Concha Acustica”, Cardinal Orani João Tempesta, Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, will preside over the Eucharistic celebration, as well as presenting a new mantle for the Statue of the Virgin Mary, as it is done every year.
In addition, Cardinal Orani will bestow the traditional blessing of the animals. The faithful will form a large circle all around the sanctuary and each one will release a white balloon. The Archbishop will release a white dove as a sign of peace.
The rector of the Sanctuary, Father Thiago Sardinha, said that the location chosen is ideal perfect for celebrations in honor of Our Lady of Penha, since it is there that historically the shrine started. “Lizards in this place are enormous This is maybe why the sanctuary was build on top of the rock. The story goes that a Portuguese captain, named Baltazar de Abreu Cardoso, who owned the surrounding lands, once find a big snake in front of him. Scared, he invoked Our Lady saying: ‘Help me, O Virgin Mary!’, and at that moment a big lizard appeared which began to fight with the snake and so he managed to escape” Fr. Thiago said.
The program oh this year’s festival will feature a range of cultural to religious events, including the Mission Walk Perseverance; altar boys activities; Social action of Christ the Redeemer; Mass for the sick; distribution of Santo Antonio Galvão pills; motorcade of taxi drivers; Mass for the victory and the traditional washing of the stairs.
It is noteworthy that this festival of “Our Lady of the Pnha” is part of the big celebrations for the 450 anniversary of the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Father Thiago also said: “We made an official logo for the celebrations of “Our Lady of the Penha” (…) add also a bishop’s miter” (LMI)
From the Editor’s Desk at Gaudium Press and with information from the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro