Spring Pilgrimage ~ Lisbon

The 10-Day Spring Pilgrimage began in the late afternoon of Monday, April 17th, at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.  Father Bob White of St. Victoria Catholic Church, Victoria, Minnesota, is attentive to a voice nobody else hears.  That's Dennis Oas of Victoria with the chin hair, seated next to him.

Fellow pilgrims occupied themselves in various other waiting ways.  Hi, Bob Wendt of St. Victoria!

Newspapers were a big hit too.  Hi, Father Stan Mader of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Mound, Minnesota.  Hi, Mary Moore of St. Victoria Catholic Church in Victoria, Minnesota.

Last minute calls saved the day.  Hi, Lee LaBore of Shorewood, Minnesota.  Dennis Oas, are you in the picture again?  Our plane departed Minneapolis at 7:00 p.m. that Monday evening.

A nonstop 8-hour flight took us to Amsterdam, where we boarded our second 2-hour leg to Lisbon, Portugal.  We got into the Hotel Mundial at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, Minnesota time, which was 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, Portugal time.  Mary Moore and I were roommates for the pilgrimage.  Our view from Room 422 was metropolitan and gave evidence that Lisbon, the country's capital, is the "City of Seven Hills."  We enjoyed a long evening walk up and down several city blocks before dinner.

That very Tuesday evening we dined in Lisbon at "O Forcado" and enjoyed a live show featuring Fada music.  According to Marcus, our Portuguese guide for the next week, Fado is Portuguese music that is, at once, "romantic, blue, pessimistic, unhappy, sort of like the American blues."  Today, he said, there is also a new Fado that is optimistic.  Our salad, soup, and salmon were delicious.

Father Bob and Father Stan said Mass for us at the Church of St. Anthony in Lisbon.  Marcus told us that St. Anthony is one of the two patron saints of Lisbon.  The other one is St. Vincent. 

Below the church sanctuary is this crypt where St. Anthony was born on August 15th, 1195.  St. Anthony died in 1231 and is buried in Padua, Italy, which is how he got his famous name, "St. Anthony of Padua."  Pope John Paul II prayed at this kneeler, just like Mary Moore.

This "Monument to the Discoveries" was built at Lisbon on the bank of the Tagus River in 1960 in the shape of a ship's bow.  The sculpture represents people of different professions who took part in some way in the Portuguese voyages of discovery and conquest.  Lisbon lies 12 miles from the open sea.

Portugal is the motherland of famous discoverers like Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan, navigators we learned about in our history classes.  At the bow of the "ship" is Henry the Navigator.  There are rooms and floors inside this monument, but we didn't go inside.

It was a beautiful day in Lisbon for bare feet and barely a vest.  The Tagus River is the longest waterway on the Iberian Peninsula.  It crosses Spain and Portugal and empties into the Atlantic.

This is the yacht harbor between the Tagus River Suspension Bridge (more visible in above photo) and the Discovery Monument.  As you can see, most people were not out sailing on this early spring day.

The eyes have it!  I see (l-r) Chris Christiansen, Judy Oas, Carla LaBore, Jim Lambert, Father Bob, and Dennis Oas.  That's Isabella, a tour guide, in front, and this is the Monastery of St. Jerome, built in the 16th Century.  Isabella informed us that the monastery houses the tomb of Vasco da Gama, that Portuguese fellow who sailed in 1497 to discover India.

The Monastery of St. Jerome was built on the banks of the Tagus River, at the entrance to the Port of Lisbon, to give spiritual comfort to seamen and navigators.

The monks of the Order of St. Jerome occupied the monastery, and the huge golden tabernacle remains where they put it, front and center.  The monks were noted for their good works and intellectual capacity.

Built over time by several contractors and master craftsmen, the monastery became a shelter and final resting place for kings and poets, as well as navigators.  It was classified a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1984 by UNESCO.

Now I also see Eileen Zimmer, Alexia Person, Rita Ellis, and Sara Linsley.  Hi, Mary in the pink.

It was an 80-mile bus trip to "Restaurante O Sino" where some of us (including me)  had a large fish filet and French Fry dinner for lunch.  We arrived here on Wednesday at 2 p.m.  The restaurant is actually located in the Parish of Fatima.  The downstairs level included a large gift shop where I bought my black Fatima bag/purse that worked well for the rest of the trip.  Shoulda bought more as it turns out.  Best prices!

Also on the lower level of this restaurant was a shop where artists were molding and painting statuary that became available for purchase.  After lunch we were excited to find the Village of Fatima where Our Blessed Lady appeared to the three little shepherd children and where the chapel was built as Our Lady requested.  Click here to continue with Spring Pilgrimage ~ Fatima..

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Spring Pilgrimage ~ Fatima.