Besides its remarkably beautiful geographical features, Rio de Janeiro is the first city in the world to have the image of Jesus Christ - King of Love and our Redeemer - as its main symbol.
Sanctuary Christ the Redeemer is a space of cultic celebrations, evangelization, charity, culture, ecumenical and inter-religious pilgrimage and ecology. Christ the Redeemer is a masterpiece which expresses the feeling and the blessing of the Brazilian people, fitting perfectly to the landscape.
The monument was conceived as an expression of the divinity of Jesus Christ and the unsearchable riches of his Paschal Mystery. That is why it is called Christ the Redeemer of Corcovado.
The concept was originally proposed by Princess Isabel in 1888. Rather than agreeing to a monument constructed atop Corcovado in her honour for freeing the slaves, the princess asked that an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ to be erected, declaring Him to be the True Redeemer of Mankind.
In 1922, Dom Sebastião Leme searches the project of the engineer Heitor da Silva Costa. The original project had the image of Jesus Christ on a pedestal formed by a chapel, holding a large cross extended to the ground in his left hand, and a globe in the right.
The project suffered oppositions to be adapted to the design of the artist Carlos Oswald. The image of Jesus with his arms outstretched represents the shape of a cross.
In 1923, donations and contributions collected in Rio and throughout Brazil added up to nearly half the amount needed to build the statue. Based on models by the sculptor Paul Landowski, the head and the hands of Christ were assembled, as well as all the calculations that guided the construction of the body and arms of the statue.
The huge work, made of reinforced concrete, was carried out on the clifftop for five years, from 1926 to 1931. The willpower and faith in Christ of thousands of Brazilians together, with technical and artistic ability of engineers, artists, workers and contributors, under the invaluable supervision of Heitor da Silva Costa, resulted in the world's tallest statue representing Jesus.
The construction of Christ the Redeemer of Corcovado is considered a major milestone in the Brazilian civil engineering. Built in reinforced concrete, the monument is covered in a mosaic of original soapstone from the region of Carandaí at Minas Gerais state, which was manually pasted by the ladies of Rio's society of the time.
In Art Deco style, with simplicity and beauty, it amazes all visitors and locals. As a symbol of love, it send a beautiful message from Brazil to the world
Many women helped building the statue. The mosaic coating made of small triangular-shaped pieces of soapstone, which covered the entire surface of the statue, was made by delicate feminine hands.
The material was chosen for its proven resistance to tear and wear, and also because of the beauty of its texture and color.
The stones were placed one by one on wide strips of cloth. While the women worked, they would write the name of their loved ones on the small pieces of stone that would coat the image of Jesus.
The inauguration in 1931 happened on the day of the patron saint of Brazil, Our Lady of Aparecida. Rio de Janeiro received pilgrims from all over the world. At the ceremony, Dom Sebastiao Leme blessed the monument with the words "Christ wins! Christ Reigns! Christ reigns! Christ protect from all harm your Brazil".
In 1934, the Union officially transferred to the Archdiocese São Sebastião of Rio de Janeiro the field of the area of 477 square meters from the top of Corcovado.
The Archdiocese of Sao Sebastiao of Rio de Janeiro was recognised as ownership of the monument and the Archbishop the big responsible of the conservation.
The statue of Christ the Redeemer on Mount Corcovado was chosen in Lisbon on July 2007 as one of the Seven Wonders of the modern world. In February 2007, Dom Eusebio Oscar Scheid, Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro had receive the certificate of participation in the competition from Bernard Weber, founder of the initiative. In July came the news of victory.
The statue of Christ the Redeemer, the most prominent symbol of faith in Jesus ever built in the world, was considered one of the Seven Wonders, along with other important, historical, religious and artistic landmarks in the world, namely the Great Wall of China, the Hellenistic city of Petra in Jordan, the Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru, the pyramid of Chichen Itzain México, the Coliseum - the ancient combat arena in Rome, and the Taj Mahal mausoleum in India.
The competition, held by the New Open World Foundation, attracted over a hundred million votes, through cell phones and the internet, from all over the world.
In the statue of Christ the Redeemer of Corcovado, the Seven Wonders project, which values and collates references of different cultures in the world, has Gods message of love to all mankind.
From the main view you can see the Sugar Loaf, part of Guanabara Bay, the Rio - Niterói bridge and the Maracanã Stadium. The Corcovado, with its height and location has a wide and wonderful view of the city.
On the Sanctuary of Christ the Redeemer, you can clearly understand why the city of Rio de Janeiro is called the Marvellous City.
Here you can view especially well the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, located in the heart of the South Zone.
The lagoon is the site of sports, leisure and other entertainment activities. In the Christmas season it is customary to host a tall Christmas tree.
On the right, you can see the Jockey Club, and in the background the immensity of the sea.
Archdiocese of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro
Texts taken from the book "Christ the Redeemer of Corcovado: religious message and story" written by Monsignor Maurilio Cesar Lima, editor Tolle Lege.
And from the official website: https://cristoredentoroficial.com.br