Igreja Nossa Senhora do Rosário
Santos City

Our Lady of the Rosary keeps unknown treasures

There is a church in the Historic Center of Santos that even many residents are unaware of the religious and historical riches that it keeps inside. Located a few meters from Praça Mauá and very close to the Santos Bus Station, the Nossa Senhora do Rosário Church is one of the most beautiful and oldest in the city.

It was erected in 1756, when it was still just a chapel where fugitive slaves were hiding and, for a long time, it was the only church that could be attended by blacks – this at a time when two thirds of the inhabitants of Santos were formed by blacks, Indians and mestizos.
In 1652, with the formation of the Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Rosary of Black Men, the church was built with the characteristics that remain today.

Church of Our Lady of the Rosary

The internal side walls of the church have frescoes with Arabic inspiration, painted in wide stripes and with alternating colors. Upon entering the church, you can see on the left the images of Santa Catarina de Alexandria, Santa Catarina de Sena, Sant’Anna Mestra, Santo Expedito (on an altar), Nossa Senhora da Esperança, São Sebastião, Santa Terezinha, Menino Jesus Prague, Sacred Heart of Jesus and Saint Joaquim.

Already on the right are the images of Nossa Senhora da Cabeça, Nossa Senhora Aparecida, Santa Sara Kali, Nossa Senhora Untieder of Us (on an altar), São Braz, São Gonçalo, Santo Antonio de Padua, São José and Nossa Senhora da Piedade.


The high altar, in marble, bears the image of Nossa Senhora do Rosário, two meters high, enthroned in 1900. Made of wood from Bahia, it has, above, a fresco depicting a dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit. On the left side of the image, there is the figure of Nosso Senhor dos Passos and, on the right, that of São Benedito.

Church of Our Lady of the Rosary


The vaulted ceiling has raised friezes, which come together to form rosettes. Inside each rosette are sacred images and symbols, which were intended to communicate with the faithful, since, until the 19th century, most people did not know how to read.

Saint Joaquim with boots

One of the relics of the Nossa Senhora do Rosário Church is the image of São Joaquim wearing boots, who was the saint protector of the bandeirantes, who took the image in private from the boats, as protection from the dangers of the river and indigenous attacks.

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