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Brazil to have the largest religious statue in the world

Complexo São Miguel Arcanjo

Cortesia / Márcio Giordany Costa de Almeida

Ricardo Sanches - published on 07/31/23

A new statue of St. Michael the Archangel will break the record previously claimed by a Brazilian statue of St. Rita of Cascia.

Construction of the sculpture of St. Michael the Archangel has already begun in the city of São Miguel Arcanjo, in the rural northern region of the state of São Paulo (southern Brazil). At 187 feet high, including the pedestal, it will be the largest Christian statue in the world, according to its creators.

Currently, the image of Santa Rita de Cascia located in Santa Cruz, Rio Grande do Norte, is said to hold this position. The Catholic monument is 138 feet high, plus 46 feet of base, totaling 184 feet. (We should note that such titles are often debatable due to different measuring criteria etc.)

statue-sainte-Rita-Bresil.jpg
This statue of St. Rita of Cascia is currently said to hold the record of the largest religious statue, at 184 feet (including the base).

The world’s largest statue

The largest Christian image in the world will be part of the religious complex called “The Archangel’s Grotto.” The project also includes an area for Mass with a 12,000-seat capacity, confessionals, a Marian grotto, a candle room, a miracle room, a museum of sacred art, a devotional pavilion, and an auditorium, as well as practical infrastructure such as a food court and a parking lot.

The Italian sanctuary of Monte Gargano, where St. Michael appeared four times, served as inspiration for the project.

“A partnership was established with Monte Gargano in October last year. We became sister churches. We presented the project to them, and they liked it very much! The idea is to bring Monte Gargano to Brazil,” explains the parish priest and rector of the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel, Fr. Márcio Giordany Costa de Almeida.

The project is budgeted at more than 5.2 million US dollars (25 million Brazilian reais) and will be funded by donations from the faithful, the community, and the private sector. The statue is being made by sculptor Markus Moura, the same who worked on the Christ the Protector of Encantado, in Rio Grande do Sul.

The architectural project is signed by a company that has designed other monumental projects, such as the Beto Carrero theme park in Santa Catarina, the largest theme park in Latin America. The first part of the complex is expected to be inaugurated in three years.

Construção da imagem de São Miguel Arcanjo

Devotion to the Archangel

This new largest Christian statue in the world will be built in a city that’s already said to be consecrated by the Archangel himself. According to local oral tradition, St. Michael appeared there in the context of the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932 to keep the two armies apart and tell them when the war had ended.

In a conversation with Aleteia, Fr. Márcio explained that the idea is for the municipality to be a national reference point for devotion to St. Michael the Archangel.

“It will be a great strength for the devotees of St. Michael to be able to be here in the city consecrated by him, to be able to pray at his feet and to be able to live this experience of going to Monte Gargano being in Brazil … All this is integrated into the concept of the project and will strengthen the devotion to St. Michael the Archangel in the country,” concludes the priest.

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