21 February 2013

Angola: Our Lady of Muxima's Image Gains International Dimension

Luanda — The priest of Santo António parish of Kifangondo locality, Francisco Lumuangano, said in Luanda that the image of Our Lady of Muxima has started to gain international dimension.

He said that in the past this fact was only reserved mostly by the catholic community in Angola.

The priest said so to Angop on Thursday on the sideline of the enthronization of Our lady of Muxima's figure", set for March in 2013 in Argentina, whose act will count on the participation of an Angolan delegation of the Ministry of Culture and Catholic Church in Angola.

The Church of Our Lady of Muxima resides in the Bengo Province of Angola. A 16th Century Portuguese Colonial structure, the Church was an important centre in the slave trade at the time.

Standing on the left border of the Kwanza River, district of Muxima, province of Bengo, this church is contemporanian of the Fortress of C'Muxima'7. The village of Muxima was occupied by the Portuguese in 1589 and ten years later (1599), the Fortress was founded and the church was built with a prayer invoking divine blessing from "Nossa Senhora da Muxima".

Muxima was an important empire of slaves traffic, protected by the Fortress, and the church played an important role in the materialization of the traffic, because it was in this religious local, where the slaves were baptized before being deported. It is spacious and strong building with a stern typically Portuguese architecture, built on the border of the Kwanza River. This popular sanctuary was spoiled and set on fire by the Netherlanders in 1641, when they enclosed Muxima. Later, it was modified.

The Sanctuary with the Virgin image has been a Centre of great devotion from de Christians, from generations in generations. It was classified as National Monument by Provincial Decret n. 2, 12 of January of 1924. It is relatively in good order and belongs to the Catholic Church. The responsibility for its maintenance and preservation concerns the Ministry of Culture.

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