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We find evidence of Portugal's devotion to Mary at the very beginning of her history. Soon after he became the first king of Portugal in 1139, Alphonsus I placed his kingdom under Mary's protection. In liturgical cult the Assumption held a place of singular honor. All of the cathedrals and some 150 parish churches are dedicated to our Lady under that title. Devotion to the Immaculate Conception was a later development. Father Ambrosio da Pina presents some excellent documentation whereby we can trace the origins of this feast in Portugal down to the beginnings of the 13th century.

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