Chapel of Our Lady of Bonanza

Century XVIII
The Chapel of Our Lady of Bonanza is a modest temple with a typical 18th century architecture, although it shows some signs of later renovation works. The main façade has a rectangular door with an upper frame with two small windows on the side. A triangular pediment, with a small oculus, is topped by a granite cross flanked by two pinnacles. The apse, in the chapel, has a curious niche on the outside facing the sea where, according to some reports, an image of Our Lady of Bonanza was placed. A place where the men of the sea come to ask for protection for fishing activity and sea voyages. These prayers are usually expressed through acronyms, testimonies of popular heraldry, or ex-votos, art naïf that is touching, because of the beauty and emotions associated therewith.



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Curiosities and legends

Our Lady of Bonanza
The location of the chapel bears significance to the patron saint’ name: Our Lady of Bonanza. This title and invocation of the Virgin Mary highlights the devotion of worshippers in the Mother of Christ as an auxiliary and protector of seafarers. Faced with the uncertainties and “moodiness” of the seas and storms, Our Lady is invoked to calm the sea and bring bonanza. However, the bonanza of the sea, where the life of the fishermen takes place, is also the bonanza of the land. The Virgin, who calms the seas and brings them safely onshore, is the same one who calms the insecurity of the daily life of worshippers.
Fishermen flock to this chapel in order to venerate Our Lady of Bonanza, hailing from Póvoa to Esposende, leaving their ex-votos at the feet of the Virgin, a proof of the belief in her powers of intercession and testimony of gratitude by the recipients of graces and miracles.