Mass with Pope and Visiting the Shrine in Fatima
Fatima Travel Blog› entry 4 of 9 › view all entries
At 6:30 AM, the alarm went off. Ay, ay, ay! It was way too early. My mother and I debated and decided to catch 2 more hours of sleep and take the second shuttle in to attend only the second half of the Pope’s mass. Back to sleep we went.
At 7:30 AM, the phone rang. It was the front desk asking if we were going to take the first shuttle into town. We declined. We woke later, and went to breakfast. At breakfast, we ran into Peggy, Kathy, Mary, Anna, and Margaret. Right after breakfast we saw Norm and Carol in the lobby. We were all ashamed none of us got up early to accompany Father Simmons into Fatima on the first bus that morning. Either way, we knew he had to be there early to get settled in with the other priests for the mass, so he would not have been able to stay with us.
We all took the second bus into Fatima and arrived in time for the last half of the Pope’s Mass.
My mom, Margaret, Norm, Peggy, and I decided to walk to the mass. After just a few minutes, we somehow managed to lose Norm. He must have taken off to take some pictures. Kathy, Peggy, Margaret and I followed my mom, as she pushed her way towards the front where they were giving communion. Wow… it was intense. There were, again, so many people. I felt like I was harassing people as I pushed ahead to stay with my mother. We walked in a single line, each of us holding the next person’s shirt of shoulder or bag… anything to stay together and not lose each other.
We finally arrived to get communion.
After the mass ended, we all pushed our ways back to exit of the church grounds. Literally, I felt like I was carried to the exit by the people that pushed me along… I don’t think I actually walked.
We shopped for souvenirs along the way as we headed towards the Plaza Hotel. Then at 3 pm, the bus was going to take us to the Church to visit the Shrine and where Jacinta, Fernando and Lucia all saw the apparitions. The bus was stuck in traffic for well over an hour, so we all convinced the tour guide to let us walk the rest of the way. We wound up walking to the church and shrine. It was neat to see so many people there praying. I have never seen so many religious people gathered. I thought it was interesting that there were more people here than there were at the Vatican, when I went to a mass there a few years ago.
We walked from the Basilica and Shrine to the Plaza Hotel, where we had another buffet dinner. Again, the meal was delicious. We had pork, mashed potatoes and salads with wine.
After a good meal, we went back to our hotel and had coffee at the bar.
I liked that I was able to use my Spanish to get by here. I don’t know any Portuguese, but my Spanish sufficed. I now want to learn Portuguese.