December 27

marian calendar     december

Nossa Senhora do Rosário, Atibaia, São Paulo, Brazil

Painting on the ceiling of Our Lady of the Rosary Church. Photograph by Diego Gazola from "Atibaia, uma aberração paulista," EcoViagem,, 2007.
In 1763, slaves who couldn't attend St. John the Baptist's, the main church in Atibaia, began building their own. Completed in 1817, the church is often called Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos, Our Lady of the Rosary of the Blacks. This agricultural city is home to the oldest and most active congada tradition in the region. The five congada groups in Atibaia combine African and Portuguese religious practices, centered around devotion to St. Benedict and Our Lady of the Rosary. On December 27, as they have for over 200 years, the congadas gather outside Our Lady's church at dawn, dressed in brilliant uniforms of scarlet, green, blue, pink, or white, and carrying swords, banners, and musical instruments. The day begins with a serenade and ends with fireworks. In between, to the sound of drums, guitars, and pealing bells, the congadas process dancing through the city: young, old, male, female, black and white. The festa of Our Lady of the Rosary is part of a Christmas celebration beginning on December 25 with the erection of two towering poles topped with images of the congada saints in Rosary Plaza and concluding December 28 with processions honoring St. Benedict. Information from the city's website,, and other sources.

Also celebrated this date:

Notre-Dame de Bon Secours, Lods, Doubs, Franche-Comté, France. Oratory dedicated, 1863.
Marienstatt, Streithausen, Westerwaldkreis, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Abbey consecrated, 1227.
Mare de Déu de les Malalties, Marçà, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain (Mother of God of the Sick)
Nuestra Señora del Encinar, Ceclavín, Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain (Our Lady of the Holm Oak)
Nuestra Señora del Rosario, El Valle, Granada, Andalucía, Spain, Restábal district

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly