Like many Alentejo villages, Brotas Village has a patron saint. Our Lady of Brotas (Nossa Senhora de Brotas).
Legend says that Our Lady of Brotas (Nossa Senhora de Brotas) has appeared and healed an injured leg of a cow. When by the Sanctuary area they fed coming from the Eagles village (Vila das Águias). After Our Lady had been invoked by the pastor who kept them. Appearing on top of a pine tree with the child in her arms, wrapped in flames on top of a pine tree. Have acceded to the request of the pastor and asking him to build a small chapel there, to mark this event. Thus, there was built the Chapel of St. Mary of Brotas (Capela de Santa Maria das Brotas). That by the year 1424 was already built.
The cult of Our Lady of Brotas (Nossa Senhora de Brotas) took very high proportions during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as evidenced not only the houses-confraternity, but also the testimony left by Father Romão Guerreiro de Brito in 1758 Parish Memories, referring to the popular concentration in feast days that came around fifteen thousand devotees. Some even compare religiosity lived in Brotas in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth with the one that currently lives in the Sanctuary of Fatima (Santuário de Fátima). The Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Brotas (Nossa Senhora das Brotas) is still today the main landmark of the historic village center.
The earliest known dating for Brotas dates back to 1424, date of the rearmost documentary allusion found in his church, leading us to believe that its birth was related to the cult that developed around the Our Lady of Brotas chapel (capela de Nossa Senhora de Brotas). However, taking into account the architectural features of the chapel, it may be much older.
Several campaigns of works succeeded to the building of the original chapel, first, in the first half of the sixteenth century, when were built the chancel, the cruise and the side chapel for the Blessed Sacrament (Santíssimo Sacramento ) evocation.
A few years later, roughly between the late sixteenth century and early seventeenth century were raised the sacristy side of the epistle and the chapel dedicated to the Souls in Purgatory (Almas do Purgatório), which along with the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament (Santíssimo Sacramento), on the Gospel side, would constitute the current transept.
However, it is already in the second half of the seventeenth century, particularly with the expansion of the nave, that the church gets closer contours of today. It is also in the second half of the seventeenth century that is erected the facade of the church.
The surrounding urban area is also a particularly interesting case. Placed in the same type, the buildings that flank the temple are, on the whole, a rich program of architecture model, since it is known that was traced a previous plan for the construction of houses-confraternity, all with the same type, though of course with minor variations between them. There was also a way towards the formation of small square bordering the shrine, marked by hostels and configured by the junction of three secular ways: the Walk of Arraiolos (Calçada de Arraiolos), the Church Street and Walk of Montemor (Calçada de Montemor).
Not far from Brotas is the ancient Eagles Village (Vila das Águias), where is located the robust tower of the same name. It is possible that this village was born at the expense of the service that lends itself to Our Lady of Brotas (Nossa Senhora de Brotas). It is known that between 1320 and 1400 the Parish Church of St. Peter Eagles (Igreja Paroquial de São Pedro das Águias) already existed, and it is also known that until April 2nd 1535 the village was the parish council, when it eventually lost its status, getting integrated in Brotas parish. Nevertheless, it deserves to be visited by the presence of the already mentioned tower.
It is also in the Eagles Village (Vila das Águias) that there is a small chapel whose patron saint is Saint Sebastian (São Sebastião). Possibly built on the site where once existed the ancient temple dedicated to St. Peter (São Pedro), the current chapel is part of the typological set of small rural chapels, existing in profuse manner throughout Alentejo, markedly popular character and hinging the main chapel (capela-mor), round or square, with the ship of very simple features.
Despite its origins so ancestors, Brotas Sanctuary continues to have a message of great present.
In very difficult times, in a place of difficult access, the cowboy sees hope of survival plunge into an abyss from which he could no longer take the cow representing the support of his family. The intervention of Our Lady sheds light on his situation and where there seemed to be signs of desperation, become signs of hope, joy and communion.
The history of Brotas Virgin evokes the many chasms where we also fell unexpectedly. Thinking we have our future secured, but there are numerous situations where everything seems to fall apart. There are even situations where it seems to be impossible to find hope and strength to restart.
It is in these situations that makes sense yelling, like Brotas cowboy, by the help of the Mother who watches over his children and turns to us the look when we resort to her with the confidence of children and the faith of believers. Light is Christ the Saviour, but Mary is an intercessor to reach the grace of God.
The world lives today abysses that limit us to look at the future and distress in the present. A Marian nation like Portugal, it is to have the soul of texture to continue to trust in the Mother of God and our Mother to remake us the soul as a messenger of Love. And just as before, the cowboy met the whole Eagles Village (Aldeia das Águias) around him in prayer and communion of spirit, even today our confidence in Mary there-to make us rediscover that we are a family of children under the protection of our Patroness and Queen of our hearts.
No abyss is too big and no obstacle is too high compared to the protection of Mary. If to Her we recourse with lively confidence, we shall see maternal signs of Her Love blossom in our lives.
Schedules and Celebrations
Sunday Mass from Christmas to Easter – 16:00 p.m.
Sunday Mass from Easter to Christmas – 09:15 a.m.
Festivities in honor of Our Lady of Brotas (Nossa Senhora das Brotas)
The celebrations and annual procession held on the second Sunday of August.
Currently does not exists any great pilgrimage to Brotas. Something that once we know that it was common practice throughout the year, always made by location and their respective Brotherhood.
Today what we have of pilgrimage will be the day of your celebration and the pilgrimage to head the descendants of Brotas and devotees of Our Lady of Brotas (Nossa Senhora de Brotas).
Our Lady of Brotas (Nossa Senhora de Brotas) is venerated also, at least, in Brazil, India and Timor. The legend and the appearance perpetuated the village and its people. In Brazil, the land of Brotas was founded by navigators who, in honor of the Patron Saint, named it.
Activities that can be performed for pilgrims and that can be developed either by the priest or by the local people.
Support to Pilgrim
Who visit Our Lady of Brotas Sanctuary (Santuário de Nossa Senhora de Brotas) can know its history, have his moment of reflection, to contemplate all its surroundings and interact with local people. Brotas Village has many activities that can complement your visit, from meals in local restaurants, accommodation in tourism countryside, acquire some local memory in the village artisans.
Contact to be able to better welcome you:
Maria do Rosário
Rua da Igreja, 30,
Cell Phone: +351 966 948 643
Rua do Acesso ao Parque
Phone: +351 266 403 169
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