Joao Pessoa


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Paraíba Paradise

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Religion in Joao Pessoa

Religion in João Pessoa

The Jesuits:

were the first missionaries who came to Joao Pessoa, Paraíba. In 1591 they started the construction of a convent and a church dedicated to Nossa Senhora de Nazareth de Almagre. They didn’t have good relations with the Portuguese Crown and were expelled in 1593. One hundred and fifteen years after, the Jesuits returned to Joao Pessoa, Paraíba to found a college and seminary where they taught Latin and philosophy. In 1728 they were driven out again. In 1773 the governor of the captaincy took the Jesuit seminary as residence with the permission of Pope Clement XIV.The building, today, houses the Faculty of Law of the Federal University of Paraíba.

The Franciscans:

came to convert the natives living in Joao Pessoa to the Christian faith. They built the monastery of St. Anthony and the church of San Francisco, today called Cultural San Francisco, considered a jewel of baroque architecture by the National Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage. During the Dutch domination the convent was used as residence of the governor and support for the military high patents.

The Benedictine:

abbeys after setting up in Salvador (1581), Rio de Janeiro (1586) and Olinda (1590) came to the city in 1596 and began the work of the Monastery of St. Benedict. The construction of the church that is beside the convent was started in 1721. The set is simple, smooth with an impressive style. The monastery had its work suspended in 1921 and its building leased for the operation of educational institutions. The Joint Benedictine is on General Osório Street, near the cathedral.

The Carmelite:

settled in 1588, while  Brazil was under the Spanish Crown because of the Iberian Union. They started missionary work, built a convent and a church forming “Conjunto Carmelita” in baroque-rococo style, in the highest part of the city. On a promontory near the mouth of Paraíba River (today city of Lucena) stands the church of Nossa Senhora da Guia which ranks as some baroque-tropical because of its wonderful notches in calcareous stone representing the fruit and flora of the new land.


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