S+L logo

Portugal, Day Four.

March 15, 2007
Salt + Light editor extraordinaire Marc Boudignon has provided us with another blog entry from Portugal. If you missed his first one, click here. Let's read the latest Marc has to say:
I am presently writing this from Alvor, a small, picturesque seaside town just outside of Portimao. Soon Nola and I will be dining on Tandoori (it's time to eat something other than pirri-pirri and sardines!) and enjoying quiz night at the local bar. After the incredible historical and spiritual experience of Fatima, this sort of relaxation is most welcome.
Fatima is a four-hour drive away from the Algarve in the south. Located in a rather hilly area - not quite mountainous, but close - it is a beautiful but somewhat rough land. We took in much of the area as we walked the Stations of the Cross, which follow the road from central Fatima up into the hills where many of the apparitions occurred. Along the way there are several statues and markers indicating where these visitations took place. The design of the statues and fencing is simple and striking. A little further along is a little church, which was built with the help of donations from Hungarian Catholics in exile who lived in Oshawa, Ontario!
At the top, pilgrims continue along some tiny back roads to get to little shepherd's houses. There are tacky merchants on the way, but the houses themselves remain untouched. The simplicity of it all is stunning. Indeed when one has God, one lacks nothing.
The main shrine and sanctuary are a replica of St. Peter's Square. There is much silence and reverence, besides the occasional cell phone ringing or loud talking. There were a few, but not many, people 'walking' on their knees up to the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We took in a late-night Rosary (spoken in German) and Mass in the town. More on that later. For now, my time is up!
Marc and Nola

Related posts

We can only move forward when we name the evil of clericalism
Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, discusses the evils of clericalism and the path to change and healing being forged by Pope Francis. ...read more
Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to the People of God
Read the full text of Pope Francis' letter on the evils of sexual abuse and the responsibility of the entire Church to seek forgiveness and to change. ...read more
Deacon-structing the Mass | Part 2: The Entrance
Last week we learned that it is our right to fully, actively, and consciously participate in the Mass. How can we do that if we don’t know what everything means? Over the next couple of weeks I hope ...read more
"We all are in this boat together" : A Reflection on the Current Crisis in the Church
Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., reflects on the current crisis in the Church, the Vatican's response, and how we can learn from this in the future. ...read more
Encore SLHour: Perfectly Human and other great conversations
This week, on a special edition of the SLHour, Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky tells us about working with persons with disabilities, and we learn all about the new Family Theater Productions series Catholic Cen ...read more
Why does a Toronto church have a heart in its wall? Read about this and other great stories from this week's news on Noel Ocol's Weekly News Round-Up. ...read more