January 15, 2012. (Romereports.com)
There are several shrines that honor the Virgin Mary, but the biggest is in Brazil
. Every year millions of people travel there to honor Our Lady of Aparecida. The shrine is precisely in the city of Aparecida, which is located between Sao Paulo and Rio. Last year, it had more than 10 million visitors.
The month with the highest number was October, with more than 1.2 million people. On November 13th, when the National Youth Pilgrimage was celebrated, roughly 200,000 young adults visited the shrine that day alone.
The history of the shrine goes back to 1717, when according to tradition, a group of fishermen, was having trouble catching fish. Despite their frustration, they threw their nets in the water once again, but this time, they caught a small statue of the Virgin Mary. The very next time they threw the nets, they caught plenty of fish. So, the son of one of the fisherman built a small chapel and placed that small statue there, to honor Our Lady, who would eventually become the future patroness of Brazil.
Benedict XVI also visited the shrine back in 2007 during his first trip to Latin America.
OFL / KLH