Century XVI / XIX
The original hermitage dedicated to Our Lady of Grace dates back to 1566. In 1758, the new church was renovated to become the parish church of Vila de Esposende, with a high altar and vaulted main nave, with a sacristy, side altars, two pulpits and two bell towers, taking the invocation to St. Mary of the Angels, patron saint of Esposende. Between 1885 and 1896, the church interior was enlarged and its façade improved, being built to the neoclassical style. This work resulted in the installation of a pipe organ. In 1968, the bell tower was also fitted with a clock. The highlights of its interior are the stained-glass windows, the tile panels, the choir and the baptismal font.
Festivities: August 15th
Saint Mary of the Angels
The invocation to Holy Mary, the mother of Christ, is very ancient and traditional in the Christian Church. At the beginning of Christianity, almost all the Cathedrals and Episcopal Sees were dedicated to Holy Mary.
In the case of the Iberian Peninsula, nearly all Sees and temples restored after the Muslim occupation were already dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Even during this occupation, Christian places and communities remained with the patronage dedicated to Holy Mary, thus manifesting the worship and devotion of Christians to the Mother of Christ.
The invocation of the Virgin Mother has always been associated with the concept of the Church-Mother of Christians, who were in turn children of the Church, since time immemorial. The parish of Esposende and its Mother Church, dedicated to Saint Mary of the Angels, are proof of the ancestral devotion to the Virgin Mother, elevated to heaven by the angels, embodying the images of Our Lady of the Conception and Our Lady of the Assumption.