Built in the 18th century, the Padrão do Bom Jesus (the Bom Jesus Marker Stone), also known as the Statue to the Lord of the Sand or Our Lord of Padrão, is the physical manifestation of a local belief.
It is told that the Lord of Matosinhos Statue was sculpted by Nicodemos, the man who helped Joseph of Arimathea remove Christ’s body from the cross and then embalm it. Thrown overboard at sea, it reached land in the year 124 washed up on the sands of Espinheiro, close to Matosinhos, but discovered minus an arm. Throughout 50 years nobody could manage to sculpt the missing limb in a way that fitted with the rest of the statue. Then, an elderly lady, who lived nearby, was at her fireplace. She noticed a piece of wood that seemed to be on the point of rolling out of the fireplace. Her daughter, dumb since an early age, suddenly gained use of her voice to declare that the piece was the arm for the Bom Jesus. On taking it to the statue, the piece fitted perfectly in place of the missing limb and the people now had their full and complete statue.
The site of the current statue in honour of this popular saint is either where the original statue or where the arm was found depending on whom you ask.
Beneath, there is a panel of 18th century blue and white tiles depicting Christ and the number 50 in commemoration of the number of years it took to discover the missing limb.