The official account of the Aparecida apparition took place in October 1717, when Dom Pedro de Almeida, Count of Assumar and Governor of the Province of São Paulo and Minas Gerais, was passing through the area of Guaratinguetá, a small city in the Paraíba river valley, during a trip to Vila Rica, an important gold mining site.
The people of Guaratinguetá decided to hold a feast in his honour, and though it was not fishing season, the fishermen went down to the Paraíba waters to fish for the feast. Three of the fishermen, Domingos Garcia, João Alves, and Filipe Pedroso, prayed to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, and asked God's help. They were unable to catch any fish, and after several hours in the river, they were ready to give up when João cast his net once more near the Port of Itaguaçu. Instead of fish, he hauled in the body of a statue with a missing head. They cast their net again, and brought up the statue's head. After cleaning the statue, they found that it was a black version of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Legend has it that when the fishermen recovered the body, then the head, the slender figure of the Aparecida Virgin became so heavy that they couldn't budge it.
After that, according to the official account, they named their find Nossa Senhora da Aparecida Conceição (English: Our Lady of the Appeared Conception), wrapped it in cloth and continued to fish; now their catch was so great that they returned to port because the weight of the fish threatened to sink their craft. This was the first miracle attributed to Our Lady of Aparecida.
A bit similar to the first story right? Also a bit similar with the "black" virgin, La Virgen de la Regla.
There is more....
Look again carefully at the image on the left, and Cubans reading the blog, tell me who it is...
See where it says NS Navegantes? It is Our Lady of Navigators. The image is identical to the one Cubans use for La Virgen de la Caridad! Same aparition, different name. For some reason, even though the story says it was three boys, the image has changed over the years to show a somewhat older dude in the boat. Don't know how or why. Anyways, I always thought it intersting how the stories were similar in the case of the patroness and how the same image was known by a different name.
BTW, yes, yes, I know and understand, there is only ONE Virgin Mary and all are the same, just different manifestations and apparitions of the same person.