It is classified as a religious manifestation that is part of the Mariano cult, characteristic of the global Christian practice with great countenance in Portuguese culture, paying devotion to Nossa Senhora da Piedade, expression of the biblical theme where Mary appears in the mystery of the passion and death of Jesus, especially at the moment when his body is taken down from the cross and placed in his mother’s lap.

The Culto or Worship of Senhora da Piedade – Sovereign Mother of Louletanos consists of a set of religious practices, inserted in the doctrinal scope of the Catholic Church, around the veneration of Our Lady of Piedade. This tradition has been expressed in Loulé since the 16th century, undergoing changes over time. Currently, this manifestation maintains the cult of the Image, which can be found during most of the year in its hermitage (16th century), located on a hill at the southwest entrance of the city.

This chapel is part of a larger complex, which was built during the 20th century, composed of a modern church, a candlelight house and some support complexes, called the sanctuary. Considered a large-scale religious manifestation, it is expressed in the daily devotion of its faithful, guided throughout the year by the rituals common to the practice of the Catholic religion, and reaches its apogee in the celebration of the Festivities in honor of the Marian invocation to which this worship is given – Our Lady of Piedade / Nossa Senhora da Piedade.

On Easter Sunday, the first of the Feasts in her honor is held, the Pequena Festa, where Her Image is carried on the shoulders of eight of the ten Men of Andor, to the Church of São Francisco in the city. And here She stays for the next fifteen days, for the vigil and veneration of Her faithful followers. During this period, a series of themed masses are held in this church that energize and include a large part of the community, but also other activities such as concerts in honor of Nossa Senhora da Piedade. It is a time of great joy and religious participation, bringing the devotees closer to the transcendent and making them feel graced by the presence of the Image of Nossa Senhora da Piedade. On the third Sunday of Easter, the Festa Grande takes place, which extends throughout the day with different moments of religious celebration, ending with the emotional return of the Image to its hermitage at the top of Cerro da Piedade, always led by the Men of Andor.

The values, beliefs, traditional practices and experiences associated with it are a fundamental part of its cultural heritage, continuing from generation to generation to confirm the belonging of its elements to this community.



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Matriz PCI. (2022). Culto a Nossa Senhora da Piedade de Loulé. Accessed on 17th February, 2022. URL:

ALEIXO, João Chagas e PALMA, Jorge (2004). Catálogo da exposição Mãe Soberana: o culto, as gentes, o património, Loulé, Câmara Municipal de Loulé.

ALEIXO, João Romero Chagas (2007).Os três andores conhecidos de Nossa Senhora da Piedade», in A Voz de Loulé, n.º 1.626, de 15 de Agosto de 2007.

ALMEIDA, Fortunato de. (1968). História da Igreja em Portugal, volume II, Porto-Lisboa, Livraria Civilização Editora, p. 168.