Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pilgrimage Stop #1: Fatima

Our first stop (not counting Ohare, Charles De Gaul, and Lisbon airports) was Fatima. What an amazing place. I celebrated our first Mass at the main altar in the old (real) basilica where the three visionaries are buried. All the important sites are within walking distance. My favorite is the hill which has the outdoor Stations of the Cross and the site of the apparition of the Angel of Peace. We also visited the homes of the visionaries. I have to say that while I liked all the places we visited, this one was my favorite. (I picked up some acorns there and will try to grow some Fatima oaks for the parish next year.) A wonderful place to pray!

The new basilica isn't as bad as I feared, but it does give the impression of being an oil drum. It is rather sad. It is made of beautiful materials but is stark and rather ugly. (In many ways it reminds me of the LA cathedral.) The crucifix above the altar is one of the ugliest things I have every seen. The giant 'crucifix' outside looks like someone crucified the AOL guy. (I will post pictures when I get them from fellow pilgrims. I don't like carrying a camera when I travel.)
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