In the lead-up to October 12, the day the Church celebrates the patron saint of Brazil, devotees received a treat. The first phase of a giant monument in honor of Our Lady of Aparecida was inaugurated in the city of Aparecida, in the southern Brazilian state of São Paulo.
The sculpture is made of steel, weighs 400 tons, and is 164 ft (50 m) high. This size puts the monument on the list of the largest religious images in Brazil and the world.
The statue cost an estimated 10 million Brazilian reais (nearly two million US dollars). It’s located in the Itaguaçu neighborhood, two miles from the National Shrine of Aparecida. It will certainly become another tourist attraction in the city, which receives millions of pilgrims and tourists every year.
Sculptor Gilmar Pinna designed the monument, which has not yet been completed. “We’re still going to add a giant map of Brazil, held up by two arms of God. Each arm will be 19 meters (62 ft) long and the sculpture will be a total of 50 meters high, and it will weigh 60 tons,” said the sculptor. Work on this second phase of the project is expected to take another year.