Pilgrimage to Lisbon and Fatima
Each year the RE department try to run a short pilgrimage for some of our pupils. This year, for the first time, we were able to visit the shrine of Our Lady at Fatima. In addition, we visited the birthplace of St Anthony in Lisbon where we prayed before his relic as the late Pope John Paul II had done. The trip to Cristo Rei (Christ the King) was quite spectacular – it is very reassuring to have an image of Christ looking over a capital city.
Very unexpectedly, our students were able to engage in an anti-trafficking exhibition created by the Dutch visual artist Marian van der Zwaan in Lisbon. It certainly made us realise how fortunate we are to be part of good loving families who take our safety and well-being seriously.
Some comments by our pupils on the highlights of the trip are given below:
- When I went to Fatima, I had such an enjoyable time and met many new people; however something that really stood out for me was going into the shrine itself and seeing the beautiful statue of Mary and most of all the vast crowd s that had attended Sunday Mass. As I prayed and thanked Our Lady, I felt as if she was actually there and blessing us. It made me feel really complete, as this is what I came to Fatima to do, come closer to Mary and understand her.
- What struck me about the trip was that some people in Fatima really want Mary to pray for them.
- Something that struck me on our pilgrimage was the Knee Walk. It brought me closer to God and helped me concentrate on the things that I really wanted to pray for and thank God for. The whole experience was phenomenal.
- The main thing about this pilgrimage was Fatima itself; and for me personally, I found that although doing the kneel walk was hard it was totally worth it. That is because the thing that I will always remember from the trip to Portugal is the final stage of the knee walk, circling the statue of Mary, because that was beautiful. The statue was amazing and I felt as though Mary herself was looking down on me watching me, looking after me and that is what will always stay in my mind.
As an RE Department, we would like to really thank Ms Mourelle, without whom this trip would not have been possible.