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The history of Marian church architecture tells the unfolding story of the development of Roman Catholic Mariology.The Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida in Aparecida, Brazil is now the second-largest Catholic place of worship in the world, second only to St. In 1984 it was officially declared as "the largest Marian Church in the world." Some Marian churches are major pilgrimage sites.According to Bishop Francesco Giogia, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City was the most visited Catholic shrine in the world in 1999, followed by San Giovanni Rotondo (not a Marian shrine) and Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil.Some of the very largest Roman Catholic Marian churches in the world did not start based on a decisions made by informed theologians in Rome but based on the statements of young and less-than-sophisticated people about their religious experiences on remote (and often unheard of) hilltops.Two cases in point are the largest Marian churches in Mexico and France, based on the reported Marian apparitions to Saint Juan Diego in Cerro del Tepeyac, (Guadalupe) Mexico in 1531 and Saint Bernadette Soubirous as a child in Lourdes in 1858.In the following decades, congregations built churches for public worship.
The Church of Mary in Ephesus may be one of the earliest Marian churches and is dated to the early 5th century, coinciding with the Council of Ephesus in 431.Given the millions of visitors per year to Our Lady of Lourdes and Our Lady of Fatima, the major Marian churches receive over 30 million pilgrims per year.In December 2009, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe set a new record with 6.1 million pilgrims during Friday and Saturday for the anniversary of Our Lady of Guadalipe.Meet Canadian Catholic singles and browse Catholic online personals with picture profiles of Catholic singles in Canada looking for friendship, relationships, dating and more.Chat and send messages to Catholic singles and meet people who share your beliefs.A year earlier, Pope Pius XII had proclaimed that title for the Virgin Mary in his 1954 encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam.