Ribeira GrandeParishesFenais da Ajuda

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Fenais da Ajuda

The parish of Fenais da Ajuda, which includes the Hamlet of Ribeira Funda, is the most eastern parish in the country of Ribeira Grande.

Situated on the north coast of the island of São Miguel, this parish is bound by the sea and the parishes of Lomba da Maia and Lomba de São Pedro (Ribeira Grande municipality) and Furnas (Povoação municipality).

The parish of Fenais da Ajuda was so named because of the abundance of hay (feno), there was in times gone by and “d’Ajuda” in honour of the patron saint of the former Franciscan Convent that existed there. The hamlet was also known as Fenais da Vera Cruz, at it has a headland in the shape of a cross, or Fenais da Maia, because it was the on the edge of the Maia parish.

The first inhabitants in this area came from Maia, settling there about 1500, when they built a chapel to the Santos Reis Magos, or Holy Magi, patrons of Portuguese navigation and discoveries.

In 1541, this hamlet was made a parish.

The Parish Church of the Santos Reis Magos was built in 1832 and blessed in 1843.

The present church is in good conditions as it was placed in the care of the Third Order of St. Francis, which has preserved it over the years.

In the hamlet of Ribeira Funda, (Deep Stream) so named because it lay in a deep river valley, or cave, stands in the Parish Church of Nossa Senhora da Aflição.

Demographic chart of Ribeira Grande Parishes