Our Lady devotion in Belém, Brazil
Círio is the world's largest Marian procession, attracting more than two million people.
It's celebrated since 1793 in Belém, and nearby cities, in the Amazon region - Northern of Brazil.
During the entire month of October multiple processions foster a message of peace, compassion and love to one another.
The Círio procession has taken place since the colonial period, and mixes religious rituals and cultural expressions of the region. Its history dates back to events occurred in 1793, when a caboclo (Indigenous-European mixed-race Brazilian) named Plácido is said to have found the image of a saint among the stones of a small creek and taken it home. However, the day after the episode, the saint would disappear from his home and mysteriously return to the stones where he had been found it the day before. This is said to have happened whenever the saint was taken from the stream.
After many comings and goings, the image was also taken to the Chapel of the Provincial Government Place, where it would not stay for more than a night, the story says, returning to the creek even while guarded. Since then, the saint is worshiped by her devotees, who built a hermitage in the place to which its image always returned. The procession of the Círio de Nazaré seeks to repeat the route that the saint's image would have taken back to the creek.
the new mantle
To many Cirio starts when the Basilica lights turn off to introduce the new sacred mantle, carrying Our Lady's yearly message. The event is live broadcasted and quickly dominates social media, TV news and the local newspapers. It's a remarkable achievement for any stylist to be chosen for this task. The new mantle refreshes interest to get as close as possible to observe the new handcrafted symbols and experience Our Lady's new message as an art piece filled with symbols.
the car procession
On the next morning, the mantle appears on all local newspapers and TV news. Our Lady, carrying the newly reveled mantle, leaves on a 50 km car procession where it will stop and enter many hospitals, living houses, schools and connect directly to the ones in need. The traditional car procession engages 1.3 million people in a 10 hours journey to Ananindeua City.
the riverboat procession
The next morning starts with the beautiful riverboat procession leaving from the port of Icoaraci early in the morning. Our Lady goes on Brazil's Marine H37 boat followed by hundreds of vessels, many carrying 600+ people each It arrives back in Belém where Our Lady is transferred from the marine boat directly into a motorcycle procession and it is taken to Gentil school.
religion acceptance - an example to the world
Throughout this journey the procession walks in front of many religious sites. It's common to see an inspiring gesture of religious tolerance - and a true message of love for one to another - as believers of multiple religions help the catholic pilgrims by donating bottles of water, proving shelter from burning snu the 100+ degrees temperature, and by rescuing some of the people that faint by volunteering to the Brazilian Red Cross.
Learn more about the Círio event by visiting ou Museum Page.