This story began when the Portuguese explorers arrived in Brazil, with huge caravels carrying the cross of Christ. At that moment, as soon as they realized it was not an island, our country received its first name: “Land of the Holy Cross”.
Some years passed, and as the way to the Corcovado became an increasingly visited place, D. Pedro II decided to build a railroad, which would be the first in Brazil exclusively for purpose of tourism. And with an imperial decree, engineers Francisco Pereira Passos and João Teixeira Soares had the privilege of being responsible for the railroad between Cosme Velho and the top of Corcovado.
The inauguration of the Corcovado railroad was a major event in the city. Our Emperor,
D. Pedro II, gave the starting signal, and thus, it was the first trip between Cosme Velho and Paineiras stations.
From the window of the Immaculate Conception School Church, at Botafogo beach, where the French Lazarist priest Pierre Marie Boss was chaplain, there was the view of Mount Corcovado. It was a breathtaking view, which was the inspiration for the construction of a religious monument.
In preparation for the independence centennial,
the Catholic Center met to choose the
location for the monument dreamed by father Boss.
The options were the Santo Antonio Hill, the
Sugar Loaf and the Corcovado Mount.
The decision was not
easy. On the contest, three projects
were presented: one by José
Agostinho dos Reis, other by Adolfo
Morales de los Rios and the last
by Heitor da Silva Costa, who
was the winner.
It was in Paris that Heitor da Silva Costa met the sculptor in art-deco
Maximiliam Paul Landowsky and the engineer specialist in concrete-reinforced Albert Caquot. Both of them, in tune with the painter Carlos Oswald, with the master engineer Heitor Levy and with the fiscal engineer Pedro Fernandes Viana, gave Christ the Redeemer the perfect harmony between art and engineering.
Heitor da Silva Costa knew something was missing
to give the Monument the true essence of a work of art.
By studying our nature, he discovered the soapstone,
a beautiful material, malleable, resistant to erosion,
which was abundant in Brazil. The pieces were cut into
thousands of triangles, glued by hand on a tissue
and then applied to the statue by workers. While gluing
the pieces on the fabric, ladies of
society took the opportunity
to write the names of their dear ones on the
back of the soapstone triangles.
It was the day of the patron saint of Brazil, Our Lady of Aparecida.
Rio de Janeiro received pilgrims from all over the world for the inauguration of Christ
the Redeemer. At the ceremony, Dom Sebastião Leme blessed the
Monument with the words: "Christ wins!
Christ reigns! Christ rules! Christ protect your Brazil from all harm!"
On June 31, 1980, the Monument to Christ the Redeemer
received the illustrious visit of Pope John Paul II.
He blessed the city of Rio de Janeiro,
at the foot of the Monument, and declared:
"If God is Brazilian, the Pope is carioca".
On October 12, 2006, at the age of 75, the Monument was erected Archdiocesan Sanctuary.
On July 7, 2007, the Monument to Christ the Redeemer was elected, by popular vote through the internet, one of the New Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Those who were always welcomed at the Corcovado with open arms, without a doubt, demonstrated their love for the Monument in the election.
When the Monument to Christ the Redeemer
completed 78 years, the National Shrine
of Christ the King was celebrating the fiftieth
anniversary of its inauguration, in
Portugal. On this occasion, a twinning was signed
between the two sanctuaries, with the objective of
sharing experiences and spirituality, encouraging pilgrimages.
On completing 80 years, the Monument to Christ the Redeemer won a big party, with a full schedule of celebrations spanning several segments: music, visual arts, dance, theater, sports, education, food, fashion, tourism and others. On October 12, day of the anniversary, there was a great celebration in the city, complete with cake and a tribute to Heitor da Silva Costa and Dom Sebastião Leme, who won the construction of busts dedicated to them.
This story may have ended up here, but it continues every
day, with Christ the Redeemer making history in the lives of people
around the world, whom he welcomes with