Santo Antonio Church, Tiradentes, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil

At the beginning of the 18th century, Paulista Lourenço Costa discovered gold in a river near the Serra do Lenheiro, in the central region of Minas Gerais. This discovery gave rise to small settlements, of which the largest was the “Arraial Velho do Rio das Mortes”.

After 1707, due to divergences regarding the possession of the lands, the ‘Emboabas War’, of bandeirantes paulistas against “outsiders” – that were people who arrived there from other captaincies occurred. These non-Paulists were called “emboabas”, and were responsible for the emergence of the “Arraial Novo de Rio das Mortes”, near the old one. And a few kilometers to the east, another camp also appeared at the same time: the “Arraial Velho de Santo Antônio”, later emancipated to “Vila de São José do Rio das Mortes” (1718), and finally christened “São José de ‘El Rei’ (at the same time the neighboring village was also renamed ‘St. John of the King’).

In 1724 (same year in which the definitive construction of the Matrix of the Pillar in the neighboring São João of the King began) a parish was instituted in the town of San José of the King. However, it is recorded that the Brotherhood of the Blessed One was already A fact that leads to the conclusion that there was a church serving as a matrix, and that it was already dedicated to St. Anthony – the celebrated Franciscan born in Lisbon and died in Padua.

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