Brazil: Maranhão will have its first Minor Basilica


The title is an “incentive to promote its relevance as a true center of liturgical and pastoral action in the Diocese.”

Maranhão – Carutapera (23/06/2021 15:19, Gaudium Press) The Mother Church of São Sebastião, in the city of Carutapera, will become the first Minor Basilica of Maranhão in North-Eastern Brazil. The concession of the title by Pope Francis was announced by the Bishop of Zé Doca, Most Rev. João Kot.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments recalls that this title intensifies the particular bond with the Church of Rome and the Holy Father and is an “incentive to promote its relevance as a true center of liturgical and pastoral action in the Diocese.”

Historical and missionary importance of the Parish Church of Carutapera

For the Diocese of Zé Doca, this title constitutes a recognition to the church for its unique architecture and its historical and missionary importance. “I thank God for this grace achieved, crowning the 60th anniversary of the consecration of the Mother Church of São Sebastião,” said the local bishop.

Bishop John Kot urged the faithful of his diocese to “pray that this Minor Basilica in Carutapera be welcomed as a sign of Divine Providence. I wish visitors will find every incentive of Faith to lead a worthy Christian life and cooperate with the salvation of all.”

Major Basilicas and Minor Basilicas

There are two types of basilicas: the “major” ones, only four, all located in Rome: St. Peter’s, St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Walls; and the “minor” ones, more than 1,500, spread all over the world. Brazil alone has 65 minor basilicas. The Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida, located in the heart of São Paulo state, is the second-largest basilica in the world in size, second only to St. Peter’s Rome.

The title of minor basilica can only be granted by the Pope.
The church must be recognized as “a center of active and pastoral liturgy, especially through celebrations of the Most Holy Eucharist, of penance, and of the other sacraments, which celebrations set an example for others on account of their preparation and realization according to liturgical norms and with the active participation of the people of God”, as the Domus Ecclesiae decree highlights. (EPC)


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