The church in São José de Ribamar
Destination São Luís, capital of the state of Maranhão.
Igreja São José de Ribamar.
Saõ José de Ribamar is located at the other side of Ilha (island) de São Luís. The distance between the city of São Luís and São José is little more than 30 km. The city of São José de Ribamar counts about 140 thousand inhabitants and is widely known for the giant statue of Saint Joseph and his son Jesus.
Igreja São José de Ribamar
It is very easy to reach São José de Ribamar, especially when you are familiar with the Portuguese language. We took the bus in the center of São Luís. The bus then followed a route through the historical center and then turned eastward, in the direction of São José. São José de Ribamar is known for its religious significance. A legend tells that centuries ago, a ship from Lisbon (Portugal) was on its way to São Luís. The ship, however, came into a tempestuous storm and was about to crash on the sandbanks in front of the Bay of São José. The desperate sailors prayed to Saint Joseph (São José), and almost immediately, a wave carried the ship to safer waters; the storm was over, the sailors were saved. The commander of that ship eventually returned to the location of this miracle, with a statue of Saint Joseph. This statue was very popular among thieves, because of its beauty: it was stolen twice. Miraculously, the statue returned to the chapel, and no one was able to explain how it had returned.
Facade of the church.
It rained a lot on our day of visit, on a day that started promisingly with sunshine. Since it was our final entire day in São Luís, we decided to continue our travel to São Josè. We took shelter in a padaria (bakery annex lunchroom), during a downpour. When this downpour was almost over, we went in the direction of the beach, and visited the local church, the Maria cavern, and the huge statue of Saint Joseph and his son Jesus. We didn’t have much time, we weren’t able to spend much time to see everything. The rainy weather conditions weren’t favorable for a long walk on the beach. However, we took took more time to visit the obvious Saint Joseph church.Obvious, since it was painted in light blue, while the tower was painted in purple. According to some legends, this church collapsed no less than thee times, following the (re)construction). The actual church dated back from 1905, and was restored in 1980. Strikingly, there were already large cracks visible in the ceiling…
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom
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