Built in an imposing neo-gothic style, the church was inaugurated in 1945 and elevated to the category of Basilica by Pope Pius XII in 1952. Its origins go way back to a tiny chapel built in 1875 by Antonio Ferreira da Silva Jr., Viscount Embaré, and his wife, and then handed over to Franciscan friars in 1913, who began the new construction in 1930.
Above the main entrance, a classical composition depicts Saint Anthony receiving the Infant Jesus from the hands of the Virgin Mary. Curiously, the statue of Saint Peter – which should be on the right of those leaving the church, as he is usually the apostle on Christ’s right – is actually on the left, while Saint Paul is on the right. Inside, the eighteen meters from floor to ceiling are covered in frescos by Pedro Gentili, filling the entire church space. They were painted in 1946 and restored in 2001. Framed by angels sculpted in wood, the magnificent organ boasts around 3,800 pipes.