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Church Matriz de Santa Rita de Cássia

Beautiful and imposing! Around it begins the settlement of the City.

Church Matriz de Santa Rita de Cássia


Religiosity is a strong characteristic of the population of Santarem. Located in one of the central points of the city, the Parish Church of Santa Rita de Jacutinga is a beautiful building, which stands out from the landscape around it as an imposing symbol of the faith of its people.


The place where the mother church is today, was donated by Antônio Francisco de Mendonça and his wife Maria Vitória Ribeiro around 1832, so a chapel was built in honor of Santa Rita de Cássia, who over time the chapel became small to receive the faithful who came to thank or ask for thanks to the saint.


With the need to expand the small temple, the founding families of the village donated land to the parish so that it could receive a chancel worthy of their patron saint.


In 1835 the Gomes and Caetano families obtained authorization for the construction of the chancel. In parallel, Commander Francisco Teresiano Fortes (founder of Fazenda Santa Clara), who had made a promise to build a church in the region, brought to the site a large number of bricklayers, carpenters and construction materials, but there was no consensus regarding to the chancel construction site.


The Commander wanted the chapel to be built facing north, where the local cemetery was already, offering compensation for the services that had been carried out, but he did not have his will fulfilled. As a result, he left with his helpers (most of them his slaves) to Rio Preto, where he raised the Mother, whose patron is Our Lord of the Steps.


In the 1950s, the chapel no longer held the population of Santarem and the contingent number of faithful who visited it frequently. Soon Father Francisco José Machado Filho (Father Machado) together with his parishioners promoted the construction of the current church.


On July 2, 1951, the demolition of the old building began, giving way to the new work. In proportion to the greatness of the construction, it did not take long for the city to have its long-awaited Mother Church, on July 17, 1956 the new Mother Church was inaugurated.

The interior of the Church thrills with its beauty and grandeur. Inspired by the Metropolitan Cathedral of Juiz de Fora, the church has imposing architectural lines and also has beautiful frescoes inside, which enchant through its colors and shapes made directly on the wall over the plaster - the work of the Italian painter Victorio Goretti. The artist was a cousin of Santa Maria Goretti, the young martyr canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950.


Another highlight of the temple is the hydraulic tiles, forming various types of carpets. Its abundant and naturally lit interior is a great place to meditate, taking advantage of the calm and quiet climate, recharging your energies to enjoy many adventures in the City of Waterfalls.





NOGUEIRA. Laudelina Marinho, A cidade das Cachoeiras: Santa Rita de Jacutinga e sua história. 3.ed. rev. e ampliada. (Santa Rita de Jacutinga, edição particular, 2005).



Be sure to visit
The visit to Igreja Matriz is part of the City Tour, but can also be visited at any time, looking for the Parish House.
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