My impression of the city Lisbon and the Chapel of Apparitions.

Legend has it, the Chapel of Apparitions is located in Portugal. It was constructed sometime in the 1920’s to mark the exact location where three children; Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta reportedly witnessed the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917. The Chapel is part of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima which is visited by approximately six million pilgrims annually. The children talked of visits of The Angel of Peace who prepared them to meet a woman Brighter than the Sun. She wore a white mantle adorned with gold and held a rosary. She encouraged the children to pray the rosary daily to bring peace to the world and even revealed some prophecies to them.

I set out on a journey to see what people say about observing God where ‘he/she’ had appeared. This particular site has always been close to my heart. The first time I heard about it I was just a child and was surprised by idea Mother Mary would visit these little children. I thought it was a beautiful story and wanted to believe it.

The reenactment I saw on television was so well done that it caused me to research the topic. I have lived in wonder about this ever since. Many people experience miracles in their daily lives that help when it is requested such as healing and betterment out of physical and mental conflict. So to hear about one of such grandeur sort of shaped my belief at a young age. I always liked stories of peace and redemption even if others do not share the same view.

I set out to visit this place. It took a little planning but things came together in the end and I was afforded the opportunity to fulfil a lifelong dream in real life! I was happy to return to a city were all seemed to live in unity, Lisbon. I left Sevilla by car which took about four hours. On entering Portugal, I recall driver explaining the radical approach to the decriminalization of illicit drugs in Portugal- our destination.

I was happy to arrive in Lisbon where I walked around for a couple days exploring castles, eating good food and seeing the night life in the famous Barrio Alto with Chad and Rafael. I adored the atmosphere. The people are vivacious, funny, open and there is a sense of freedom that reminded me a bit of Barcelona. From my limited time there, I the Portuguese were inviting and down to earth. Frankly, I felt happy and relaxed and in this city.

My ex-boyfriend at the time did not really care for Lisbon for personal reasons. He found his home-town Sevilla to be more beautiful; and I am unsure of whatever else brought him to that conclusion since he had traveled around there on previous occasions. While it is true that Portugal is not the most economically sound country in Europe, the old buildings and street trams add a unique appearance to the Mediterranean atmosphere, even though it does not border the Mediterranean Sea. The cool sea-breeze was a nice experience along the hilly terrain.

For example, I noticed the Mercedes Benz outlet did not refurbish the dealership, assuming that the marketing strategy was aligned to fit in rather than stand out from the other charming, cracked archaic buildings surrounding it. The pastries and foods are pretty much amazing. Their local dish; sardines, bacalao and pastels de nata make Lisbon a treat. While I may be biased because I definitely had some of the best times in this city, there is a lot more to offer than just a good time and great food. The culture is rich and the locals are friendly.

After a couple of days roaming the city, I was happy to meet the guide at seven in the morning. She chauffered our small group to Fatima, to visit the Chapel of Apparitions and then to the popular surfing town of Nazare where the biggest wave in the world was said to be surfed, at 100 feet. It took us around forty minutes by car to arrive at Fatima.

It was a world far removed from the regular touristic areas Lisbon offered. In no time we were in the countryside where houses were distanced apart. There was a huge paved area with a large cross on the far side. By our entrance, there was a place one could purchase large candles. I bought a couple and lit them as I said some prayers and asked God to Bless us all. I took some photos of the alter where Mother Mary appeared to the children. There was mass going on at this moment. A handful of people congregated in this sort of open-air church.

Many kneeled down to pray there, I witnessed some pilgrims completing their journeys. I remember one in particular who had no legs. He used his forearms and all his strength to pull himself across the hot pitch which seemed to go on for miles. He must have been really strong. I was humbled by this sight at the time. I felt unable to comprehend his measure of faith at that moment as it took me by surprise. Somehow he mustered all the strength he had under the sun to meet his Mother Mary and no doubt speak with her and show her his pain. I suppose it was simply heartbreaking for the lack of better words but also very inspirational. Perhaps this site attracts many miracle seekers, for me, I was curious as to what happened at these places like these.

My visit to there made me comprehend at that time that we all have a cross to bear in one form or another, some deal with it in different ways, some make it look easy while others put their pain on display for all to see. In that moment I felt we were all united by our human condition. But that is just an opinion of an impressionable mind 🙂 I hope you enjoyed reading what I thought through my youth.

2 responses to “My impression of the city Lisbon and the Chapel of Apparitions.”

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