A bronze image of Our Lady of Aparecida will be placed in the Vatican Gardens and blessed on Saturday, Sept. 3, on the occasion of the third centenary of the discovery of the image in the Paraiba do Sul river, reported Il Sismografo blog, specifying that it is an initiative of the Embassy of Brazil to the Holy See and of the Archdiocese of Aparecida.
It is a proposal that Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis had already mentioned on Oct. 11, 2014, in the framework of the works of the Synod on the Family.
The news comes together with some speculation that the Holy Father might carry out an Apostolic Journey on the occasion of the 1oth anniversary of the 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean, in May of 2017.
That gathering of bishops of the Americas, at which the future Pope Francis played a key role, resulted in what has come to be called the “Aparecida Document.” The document called for a “continental mission” and has been a guiding document in the work of the Church in Latin America since 2007. Pope Francis, who was instrumental in crafting the document, has made reference to it on several occasions since his election to the See of Peter.
Shortly after his election as Pontiff, in July of 2013, Pope Francis went to Brazil, on the occasion of the 28th World Youth Day, and he celebrated Mass in the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida.
In the Vatican Gardens, there is a monument with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of Mexico. There is also an image of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre, Patroness of Cuba, another of the Holy Virgin Mary of La Antigua, Patroness of Panama, and of the Virgin of Suyapa, Patroness of Honduras.
In addition, there is an image of the Virgin of the Angels, Patroness of Costa Rica, in Saint Anne’s Church in the Vatican.