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Nossa Senhora das Graças (Our Lady of Graces), Pesqueira, Pernambuco, Northeast, Brazil

Commemorated on August 6
Nossa Senhora das Graças (Our Lady of Graces), Pesqueira, Pernambuco, Northeast, Brazil
On August 6, 1936, Maria da Luz Teixeira, 13, and Maria da Conceição, 16 (a poor girl living with the Teixeira family), were gathering castor beans on Guarda mountain in the Cimbres district, 15 miles from Pesqueira. There was a flash of light and then Maria da Conceição said, "Look, there's an image that looks like Our Lady." Maria da Luz saw it too, up on a rock. They ran home and told Maria da Luz's parents. At her mother's insistence, Artur Teixeira climbed the hill with the girls, who reached the spot long before he struggled up through the brush. He saw nothing unusual, but at his suggestion, the girls together asked the image, "Who are you?" "I am Grace." They asked what she wanted. "I've come to warn of three punishments sent by God. Tell the people to pray much and do penance." After this the girls returned to the site daily, where they prayed with a growing crowd of pilgrims. On August 9, the crowd demanded a sign; reluctantly, the girls asked for one. The next day, they found water flowing from the rock and two sets of footprints embedded in stone, one an adult's and one a child's. The apparition confirmed they belonged to her and her son. The bishop conducted an investigation. Maria da Luz described Our Lady of Grace as "similar to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Pesqueira Cathedral, but her mantle is blue and her dress cream, with a belt. She has a little child in her left arm, and both have very beautiful crowns on their heads." Eventually the Virgin told her that the people's response had been sufficient to avert the three chastisements, sometimes identified as armed bandits (particularly the notorious Lampião, killed by police in 1938) and the coming of World War II or a Communist regime to Brazil. Maria da Conceição died young. In 1940, Maria da Luz joined the Religious of Christian Instruction, taking the name Sister Adélia. In her absence, pilgrims continued to visit the shrine at the apparition site, where 296 carved stone steps lead to a statue of Our Lady of Grace (as depicted on the Miraculous Medal, without the Child, not as the girls saw her), and to report healings there.
 
Our Lady of Grace on Guarda Mountain
 
In 1966, the Vatican approved the Guarda apparitions. Sister Adélia has since participated in some events at the shrine, including the anniversary pilgrimages of 1985 and 1986, and reported some new messages from Our Lady. As of 2010 she was still living, aged 87. Because the original site is located in the Xukuru Indian reservation, an area of constant conflict, the city and diocese of Pesqueira have built a new shrine to Our Lady of Grace, with a grotto and chapel, on a calvary shrine hill closer to town.   
 
Sources include:
 
"Pernambuco: Aparições de Nossa Senhora em Pesqueira, no ano de 1936," Rainha Maria, www.rainhamaria.com.br
"Santuários," Pernambuco de A-Z, www.pe-az.com.br
www.santuariopesqueira.hpg.ig.com.br (Sanctuary's site, no longer available in 2013)

Source: http://www.wherewewalked.info/feasts/08-August/08-06.htm 
 

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