Marian Journey -Part Four

This is the last leg of our Marian Journey.

Florencio and me, Tui, Spain

We had reservations to stay at Santiago de Compostela, but we decided to continue on to Portugal. This would be one of our longest periods in the car; it was over a four-hour drive, instead we stopped in Tui to gas up and decided to stay there. This  cut the trip by an hour and 30 minutes.

Tui, Spain

The sun sets very late in this area. This worked in our favor because the coastal drive on a crystal clear evening was another jewel added to the crown of this journey. Tui is the last stage of the Portuguese Camino de Santiago. From this city you can reach Santiago de Compostela in five to seven days. I pray that my grandchildren will experience this journey one day.

We settled into hotel Paradores de Tui, had soup for dinner, but by 9 o’clock it was still light. The following morning we woke up to one of the most beautiful scenes. Our hotel was situated in a perfect spot. Surrounded by the River Miño and the Monte Aloia, a summit in the mountains of Galicia, Spain, the view was spectacular.

The beautiful statues of the children of Fatima

Breathing in the air of this beautiful city brought calmness to my heart.  We were so busy taking in the scenery and taking photos of ourselves that I overlooked the pilgrims. I forgot to take photos of them walking on the path to Santiago de Compostela.


It took us an additional three hours to reach Fatima. The only one in our group who had visited Fatima was Sylvia. As a child her family made a pilgrimage there. To the rest of us it would be a grand adventure.

Sylvia and Florencio, Fatima
Mike, Fatima

Every city has roundabouts to get from one street to the next, and since this was our first time there we accidentally came upon the most beautiful statues of the children of Fatima. To have a better appreciation of Fatima, you must see the  movie  Fatima. These children were subjected to so much cruelty.  The Catholic clergy,  the people who lived in the village, and even their family members came against them. Nonetheless, these three children,  Lucia Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Martos, never wavered in what they witnessed.  Our Lady of the Rosary trusted these young children. Despite all the scrutiny, on October 13, 1917, before 70,000 people, they witnessed the miracle of the sun.

The Three Secrets of Fatima

Our Lady had given Lucia three secrets:

  1. The children received a vision of Hell and the suffering of sinners;
  2. The end of the “Great War” would soon be over, but a new war would start unless people converted and repented; and
  3. There would be an attempt on the Pope’s life.

The Virgin Mary requested the consecration of Russia, a warning to stop the spreading of the atheistic ideology of communism.

There was an attempt on Pope John Paul II’s  life on May 13 , 1981! This is the same month and day of the first apparition. Our Lady of the Rosary also told the children that people must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. She also said that people must not offend our Lord any longer, for He is already much offended. Imagine that, and what state of  the world we are in now. To celebrate gay pride for an entire month? Our Lord is deeply offended.


The roasted pigs
Before dinner
We cleaned our plates!

Fatima Sanctuaries

Once we entered the area there were so many different sanctuaries, I could not believe my eyes. This overwhelming site reminded me of the Vatican on a smaller scale. We attended Mass in a small chapel and prayed our special petitions. For several hours we made our way in and out of so many different sanctuaries and chapels.  It was magnificent.


Mosterio Batalha

Batalha, Portugal

Now that it was time for dinner, Sylvia called a cousin, who instructed us to eat at Mosteiro do Leitoa in Batalha.  Before dinner we visited the Mosteiro de Batalha, a beautiful cathedral off the main road. Something was not right and we could not figure out why this beautiful church was so neglected. Pigeons flying in and out of the broken stained glass windows was another indication that something was wrong.

Our dinner that evening was roasted pig; the meal was prepared in brick ovens and to say it was delicious is an understatement. On to Guadalupe.

Guadalupe, Spain

Our hotel in Fatima also served as a monastery, with two chapels to observe Mass. We got up early, attended Mass and were on our way. Guadalupe is four-and-a-half hours from Fatima; this drive was the longest. Through farmlands, winding roads  led us to another remote village high on Sierra de Villurecas, also known as Sierra de Guadalupe.

Basilica of Our Lady of  Guadalupe, Spain
Ernesto and I praying at the Basilica, Guadalupe, Spain


The statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe

We arrived in Guadalupe in time for Mass.  After Mass a Mexican priest  and a group of pilgrims asked us to join them on the tour of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  We walked up several spiral steps to reach the statue and prayed.

Tradition holds that St Luke carved the statue of the Blessed Virgin from cypress wood. This statue was found in Saint Luke’s coffin. St. Gregory the Great, the pope from 590-640, gifted the statue to the city of Rome. From there the statue was given to Saint Leander in Seville.

In 714 the Muslim Moors invaded Seville. A group of Catholic priests took the statue to Northern Spain to protect it from being destroyed. They buried the statue near the Guadalupejo River. Centuries passed and no one knew where the statue was.

In 1300 a shepherd, Gil Cordero, started to have apparitions of The Blessed Virgin. The shepherd lost a cow, and when he found it Our Lady appeared to him and gave him a message. “Do not be afraid, I am the Mother of God, Savior of the human lineage.” She instructed him to take his cow and bring it to the rest of his herd. She then told him to go to the clerics and bring them back to this place. They were to dig and find the image of her. She instructed them not to remove the image but to build a little church right here and put the image in it.

Christopher Columbus 

Christopher Columbus made a pilgrimage to the site before going to the New World. When he returned in 1492, Columbus fulfilled a vow to give thanks to our Lady of Guadalupe.

Alfonso XI, King of Castile and Leon, was one of the first regular pilgrims to Guadalupe. He expanded the Chapel of Guadalupe into a church and monastery.

Guadalupe, Spain

This Basilica was so endearing to me because  this is where Our Lady of Guadalupe from Mexico originated. I will never forget this experience.

My Prayer

Dear Lord, I thank You for pairing us with our wonderful Spanish friends. The history lessons of Our Lady draw us closer to Your Sacred Heart. I continue to pray for all those who do not understand Our Mother’s role and how She lovingly cares for us and always asks for Her Son’s intercession. Amen.

Related Posts