Brazilian Community Gives Thanks for Their Patroness at Cathedral Mass


The first annual Mass in honor of Our Lady of Aparecida, patroness of Brazil, was celebrated Oct. 9 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The principal celebrant and homilist, Father Fabricio Andrade, said the image of Our Lady brought into the sanctuary, though small, revealed the greatness and depth of the Marian devotion of the Brazilian people.

“Contemplating our flag in the entrance procession together with the little image of the Mother of Aparecida entering the central aisle of this huge cathedral, while we listened to the Hymn of Salal to Our Lady of Conception Aparecida, it is impossible not to be moved and to let our hearts be filled with nostalgia,” said Father Andrade, who serves as parochial vicar of Our Lady of Victory and Sacred Heart parish in Mount Vernon.

The priest is a member of the Community of Canção Nova (New Song), a Brazilian Catholic community founded by Msgr. Jonas Abib in 1978, following the lines of Catholic Charismatic Renewal. 

“I have the responsibility to thank you on behalf of the Brazilian people for this beautiful opportunity to celebrate here in the United States, in New York, the Solemnity of Our Lady of the Conception Aparecida,” said Father Andrade in his homily during the Portuguese-language Mass. He also expressed “fraternal thanks” to Cardinal Dolan. 

“We are here in the United States, so far from Brazil geographically, yet so intimately close by the strength of our faith and devotion to Our Lady of Conception Aparecida.” 

Our Lady Aparecida (Our Lady Revealed) is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary associated with a clay statue bearing the same title. The image is widely venerated by Brazilian Catholics. Historical accounts state that the statue was originally found in the early 1700s by three fishermen who miraculously caught many fish after invoking the Blessed Virgin Mary. The statue is housed in the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida in Aparecida, São Paulo, Brazil.

Father Andrade noted that the devotees of Our Lady of Conception Aparecida “always have recourse to her intercession: ‘Bless me, my Lady of Conception Aparecida! Our nation (Brazil) is going through a time of great tension, so we must, as a people in danger, turn to Our Lady for help; Bless us, Our Lady of Aparecida, in the face of the dangers that surround our nation.’” 

Father Andrade said that Our Lady Aparecida comes crowned with humility, to reach the Brazilian people, and that Our Lady of Aparecida is filled with intercession, authority and service. 

“We beseech Our Lady of Conception Aparecida to cover us with her splendid mantle…May the Holy Mantle of Mary and her intercession be over the Brazilian nation and the entire world,” he said.


The priest also prayed, “May the attention of Our Lady of Aparecida be directed to the lives of thousands of Brazilians who live here in (the United States).” 

He added, “So many times living here as immigrants, we experience our lives emptied of hope, bodies tired from hard work, hearts suffering from a longing for the family and friends we left behind in Brazil.”

He said there are “daily sacrifices that can only be understood by those who live this experience on a daily basis. Dear Brazilian brothers and sisters, Our Lady of Aparecida is attentive, she knows what we need, and she intercedes for each one of us with Jesus.”