Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima and Santiago de Compostela
I guess I necessarily need to share an experience of such magnitude – a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima (Portugal) and Santiago de Compostela (Spain). To go to Our Lady of Fatima has been always among the many destinations I have in my so called little priority projects. And I have fulfilled it. I only have to admit that by now it has become a habit to take advantage of some peoples’ generosity and it looks like I have almost demanded this pilgrimage from Anna & Rita ormai I have become part of the family.
We left (6th September 2012) from Aeroporto Roma Fiumicino for Porto in Spain to arrive at Santiago de Compostela. We were 28 in the group. We put up in a comfortable 4 star hotel (less you be scandalized, we do not have to spend longer time in the hotel as we kept moving all the time). I must admit, I had very veiled idea about Santiago de Compostela but turned out to be a surprised discovery of the great history of the city of St. James the Apostle - the Basilica, the tomb, the grand thurible, the tradition of the saint, of the conchiglia (the sea shell), etc. On 7th, we made the pilgrimage to the basilica on foot for about 4 km. We celebrated the Holy Mass (International) presided by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. We made a detailed tour of the Basilica with the guide, visited the quite beautiful city as well.
On 8th we left for Fatima, feast of the Nativity of our Blessed Lady. On our way we visited the city of Coimbra and Porto, two very important cities of Portugal. At Fatima, we celebrated the Holy Mass in one of the chapels and later joined the Holy Rosary prayed in various languages around the Chapel of apparition followed by procession with Our Lady around the square. It was altogether an awesome experience. (I shall upload few visual clips on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/rkhonsan).
On 9th we spent the whole day at Fatima – visit to the museum, Eucharistic Celebration (International), visit to the houses of Francesco, Jacinta and Lucia (the three little shepherds), the places of apparitions, the way of the cross, the Basilica, etc. Everywhere we went there was an absolute atmosphere of prayer and deep recollection. In this place people come to pray and contemplate. There was quietness everywhere.
On the 10th we left for Lisbon, made a tour of the city and for the last Eucharistic celebration together with the group at the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua (the birth place of St. Anthony and the basilica is built on it). After our lunch we exchanged greetings and left for the Airport for the home return.