São Paulo was founded on the day the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul (25 January).
The Brazilian city of São Paulo was founded on this day in 1554. Of course, its connection to St. Paul is visible from its name, and this name wasn’t selected by chance. Namely, São Paulo was founded on the day the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul (25 January).
São Paulo was founded by Jesuit priests, who celebrated their first mass there precisely on this day in 1554. Most famous among the Jesuit founders of São Paulo were the famed Blessed Jose de Anchieta and Manuel da Nobrega, who was the first head of the Jesuits on the area of Brazil. The Jesuits settled there as missionaries, and they mostly focused their efforts on education.
Today São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, larger than even Rio de Janeiro. It is estimated that the metropolitan area of São Paulo is today inhabited by over 20 million people. São Paulo is also the second largest city in the entire Southern Hemisphere.
The Brazilian federal state of São Paulo is economically the most powerful of all 26 Brazilian federal states. Its BDP comprises around 34 percent of Brazil’s total BDP. The tallest skyscraper in Brazil – the Mirante do Vale – is also located in São Paulo.