While waiting for my flight to Tokyo, I went sightseeing in Sao Paulo, and visited a Catholic church where I could have a look at the Mass.
From the late 15th century to the 16th century, European great powers were competing to colonize African and Asian countries, and the ‘New World’ in the North and South American continents. Under such competitions, with regard to the South American continent, in 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas was contracted between Spain and Portugal, and was sanctioned by Pope Julius II in 1506. Under such competitions, the South American continent was divided into two: on the basis of the meridian determined by the treaty, the western side is Spanish domain of activities and the eastern side is Portuguese domain of activities. Brazil was a colony of the Kingdom of Portugal from 1500 to 1815. In 1822, Brazil gained its independence from Portugal, and became the Empire of Brazil. It is now Federative Republic of Brazil obtained by the military coup in 1889.
Sao Paulo City (formerly named Piratininga) was the first place where Portuguese colonization was put into practice in Brazil. During the Brazil’s colonial period, the Kingdom of Portugal, through the Catholic Church as its state church, built a large number of Catholic churches throughout Brazil to provide the missionary services to indigenous inhabitants. In the mid-16th century, some priests in the Catholic Church built a school in Piratininga to educate children of indigenous inhabitants, and it was named ‘Colegio de Sao Paulo’ after St. Paulo. It became the first school of ‘colegio’, the name of which was followed by most of schools in Brazil. In the early 18th century, Piratininga was renamed Sao Paulo by the King of Portugal. This is the brief history of San Paulo.
The Catholic church which I visited today was in such a beautiful place with a solemn atmosphere. However, it was located near a large park which was crowded with vagrants and homeless people. Some of them were clinging to tourists. My guide explained to me that the municipal office had no time to deal with this issue. I have learned that the scene which I saw today reflects the difficulties in the economy and finance of Brazil resulting from the decrease in rare metals and high inflation.