Understand how the pandemic slowdown reflects the resumption of religious tourism in southern Minas Gerais | The south of Mines

The flexibility of the pandemic has already yielded results on religious tourism routes in southern Minas Gerais. Historic cities in the region, which are often visited by culture and religious symbols, claim that after Holy Week there has been an improvement in the movement of believers.

In the south of Minas, some religious routes such as Cássia, Bom Repouso, Três Pontas, Baependi and Inconfidentes attract tourists from all over Brazil. After the religious period, between April 10 and 16, the municipal administration and the religious representatives noticed a resumption of the number of visits. In some places, playback is slower. In others, tourism is flying.

Known for the comfort always offered to those arriving in the region, southern miners are now reopening their arms to believers, pilgrims, pilgrims and visitors, who want to travel new routes of true “faith tourism” in southern Minas Gerais. .

Sanctuary of Santa Rita de Cassia

The flexibility of the pandemic is reflected in the resumption of religious tourism in southern Minas Gerais – Photo: Reproducere / EPTV

The city of Cássia was born around the image of Saint Rita, protector of impossible causes, protector of widows and holy roses, who was beatified in 1627. In addition to devotion to the Saint, many believers go to the city to seek the blessing of His Beatitude Father Donetti.

According to Diego Borges Dias, Secretary for Tourism, tourists are usually from different backgrounds in Brazil. “They pass through Cássia, for example, and therefore go to visit other municipalities.”

The increase in the flow of visitors to the city usually takes place in May, the month in which Santa Rita de Cássia Day is traditionally celebrated.

“In May, especially on the 22nd, which is Santa Rita’s birthday. Every day “22” of each month is remembered as the day of Santa Rita.

This year, a novelty is to be added to the list of Cássia attractions. It is the New Sanctuary for Santa Rita, which will be inaugurated on May 20-22. According to Diego, the public is expected to be about 100 to 150 thousand tourists at the inauguration of the site.

The new sanctuary should cover an area of ​​180,000 square meters, of which 100,000 are for construction. To ensure the comfort of the faithful, the capacity is up to 5,000 seated and about 2,000 standing.

The entrepreneur who created the Sanctuary, Paulo Flávio de Melo Carvalho, explains that the inauguration will be a moment of faith and devotion.

“It is expected that the city of Cássia will be strengthened as a destination for religious tourism and a place to live an experience of faith and evangelism.”

For municipal management, the expectation is no different. “The current scenario is already one of development and growth of new companies, mainly related to the food and beverage sector, the accommodation sector and the real estate sector”, underlines the Secretary for Tourism.

Our Lady of Graces

Image Nossa Senhora das Graças is located in Bom Repouso (MG) – Photo: Municipality of Bom Repouso (MG)

Visitors travel to Bom Repouso in search of the image of Nossa Senhora das Graças, which is about 20 meters high. The “giant saint” is the largest heritage site of Bom Repouso and has become a symbol that represents the municipality on the path of the faithful.

“Whoever visits our city and seeks religious tourism, visits our Mother Church, the Grotto of Nossa Senhora de Fátima and especially the image of Nossa Senhora das Graças. Those looking for adventure tourism visit the waterfalls, especially the one on the wall where the climb takes place “.

According to Talita Bertolacini de Almeida Pereira, Secretary of Social Development, since the beginning of the pandemic, the flow of tourism in the city has decreased a lot, but it is still not completely normal.

“In November we have a significant number (of visits), because the day of Nossa Senhora das Graças is celebrated on the 27th of the month.”

Visitors usually stay for a day and sometimes even a weekend. During the holiday period, the stay is usually extended.

According to the secretary, the city is ready to receive new tourists by the end of the year. Bom Repouso is expected to receive approximately 1,000 new visitors each month.

The flexibility of the pandemic is reflected in the resumption of religious tourism in southern Minas Gerais – Photo: Fernanda Rodrigues / G1

Those arriving in Três Pontas usually look for Igreja Matriz Nossa Senhora D’Ajuda, which houses the remains of Blessed Father Victor. The Memorial, Parque da Mina and Herma do Padre Victor are also popular destinations for believers.

According to Keyre tourist Kelly Ferreira Mariano, other popular places to visit are Carmelo São José, Nossa Mai Memorial, Alfredo Benassi House of Culture and Vale do Sol Municipal Park. In the city, tourism is taking shape again after the pandemic eased.

“We are still recovering, but we are slowly seeing an increase in the flow of tourists,” said Keyre.

The biggest benefits for Três Pontas, according to the tourism expert, are generally the promotion of tourism, the warming of local trade and the service network. According to information from the town hall, tourists are mostly from the South-East region and usually stay in the city for one to two days.

The movement is even bigger in September, due to the celebration of the feast of His Beatitude Father Victor, which takes place on the 23rd. Maria.

Expectations in Três Pontas revolve around the increase in visits by pilgrims, pilgrims and tourists. In addition, the return of face-to-face events such as the Canto Aberto Festival, Expocafé and the Festa do Padre Victor, which receives up to 70,000 people.

According to the tourism specialist of the municipality, there is a future project for the realization of pilgrimage routes, in addition to the implementation of a local tourism observatory. Although no date has been set yet, the proposal is expected to start in the second half of 2022.

The flexibility of the pandemic is reflected in the resumption of religious tourism in southern Minas Gerais – Photo: Fernanda Rodrigues / G1

In Baependi, tourists seek to know the history of Nhá Chica, beatified 10 years ago. Within the city, the main tourist attractions are churches and religious events. The Nossa Senhora da Conceição Sanctuary, known as the Nhá Chica Church, is one of the main destinations.

According to André Luis Corrêa Santos, sacristan of Santa Maria de Baependi Parish, in 2022, Baependi Parish will celebrate its 300th anniversary, being the second oldest in southern Minas Gerais.

Another success is the Matrix Nossa Senhora Montserrat, which was one of the first churches in the region to be listed by IPHAN – Instituto Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional. André says the church was built in a “sui generis” style, which makes it unique throughout Brazil for its Baroque features and also the influences of the Rococo style.

“In this church is the main altar where the gold donated by Beata Nhá Chica is found.”

According to Flávia Pelúcio de Lara, Culture Coordinator, the city government supports tourist events and the maintenance of the city. Pilgrimages mainly move the economy, in addition to spreading religiosity, beauty and local culture.

Baependi is visited by tourists from all over Brazil, but visitors are mostly from the southeastern region. Most of the tourists who go to the city come to visit, ask and thank for the graces achieved by Beata Nhá Chica.

According to Flávia, tourism is in full swing. They receive tourists all year round, but at religious festivities such as Holy Week, Corpus Christi and the anniversary of the death of Blessed Nhá Chica, there is a considerable increase in movement in the city.

Last year, the city received almost 5,000 pilgrims and, according to the Culture Coordinator, the municipality is working to increase this number.

“We are focused on structuring our city to accommodate more people, so that in the near future we can attract more visitors with responsibility and organization,” says Flávia.

The flexibility of the pandemic is reflected in the resumption of religious tourism in the south of the city of Minas – Photo: Revelation Caminho das Capelas

The main attractions of Inconfidentes arouse the special interest of the pilgrims: they are the religious routes. The municipal leadership is responsible for signaling the pilgrimage routes that cross the municipality, especially the Caminho das Capelas, which passes through all the rural neighborhoods of Inconfidentes.

According to the press office of the mayor’s office, the aim of this route is to take tourism inside the city, where there is a variety of religious and gastronomic culture.

“The main benefit is to attract visitors to the city to stimulate the local economy,” he said.

In Inconfidentes, in addition to visitors from different regions of Brazil, there are many believers from the municipalities in the eastern region of the state of São Paulo. Also according to the mayor’s office, with the relaxation of the pandemic, the pilgrimage tourism intensified again in the city.

According to information from the Culture and Tourism sector in Inconfidentes, the municipality receives more tourists during extended holidays, as well as on religious holidays such as Holy Week.

“The city has various attractions for pilgrims.”

According to Emerson Fernandes Pereira, head of the Culture and Tourism Sector, the most visited points are the Igreja Matriz São Geraldo Magela, the Beata Nhá Chica Chapels which is the starting point of the Nhá Chica Road and the São Iuda Chapel. There is also the Bar do Maurão, a traditional meeting place for pilgrims.

The management says that the municipality is ready to receive new visitors and the expectation is to receive up to 30 thousand pilgrims this year. In future projects, according to the press office, the second walk of Caminho das Capelas will be carried out with the support of the mayor’s office.

VIDEO: All about southern Minas Gerais

Leave a Comment