The event, held each year on the 60th day after Easter Sunday, drew believers from various denominations as well as hundreds of floats from different parts of the country.

For about 12 hours, participants of the march trekked across 2.5 miles with music blaring and hands lifted to the sky as part of an effort to reveal how the Church is not confined within the walls of buildings but alive and open to society.

The effort also aims to unite churches in the predominantly Catholic nation in an act of public expression of “faith, love, gratitude and exaltation of the name of Jesus Christ,” according to organizers.

“[The march is] a peaceful act [and a] conscious and exciting movement of God in our day,” they say.

Organizers had expected the participation of up to five million people – or about a quarter of São Paulo’s population of 20 million. Initial estimates have put the actual figure at over a million.

Prayers for Everyday