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The Fatima Franchise

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CFx2, CPx1
Two lovely ladies.
Mother and daughter.
Jessica and Emily, and me.
We met heading for the tile museum on the first morning out of Lisbon.
“From Delaware, the smallest state in the Union!” they proudly informed me.

I shuffled my memory bank to recall what I knew about Delaware.
You don’t want to come across as a complete numbskull do you?
“Delaware!” I exclaimed, “I know about Delaware. Some famous bloke once crossed a river there didn’t he? The Delaware River, if my memory serves me correctly.”
“Washington!” I suddenly recalled. “It was him wasn’t it! I don’t know where he was going, or why, but I’m pretty sure he was the bloke that crossed the river.”
And that seemed to be about the limit of my knowledge regarding Delaware.

“Indeed he did,” replied Emily. “It’s just perhaps unfortunate that the Delaware River is not within the state of Delaware, because that means that your knowledge of the state is not just limited, it is in fact non-existent.”

So, complete numbskull it is then.

First morning of my Camino and at the Tile Museum I fall asleep in a comfy chair during a movie presentation on Portuguese tiling.
Can’t be blamed for that can I? I mean not the most scintillating subject matter is it? Not exactly riveting entertainment.
Woke up an hour and a half later.
Jessica and Emily had seized the opportunity to escape, altho they did subsequently deny that. They said they couldn't find me. Just being polite I reckon.
Anyway, I'm known for my uncanny ability to snore during movies so I'm pretty sure my supposition is correct. Whatever, they had long gone by the time I awoke.
Caught up with them a few days later when we stayed together at a big stone country farmhouse that was being lovingly restored by an interesting Portuguese architect lady. She cooked us a fine dinner as we watched and chatted and drank fine wine in her huge kitchen.
She must be an animal lover as I counted eleven dogs in two big enclosed runs and twelve cats similarly restrained in separate accommodation. Thirteen cats in fact, if you also count the one that sat outside my first floor bedroom window watching me undress. Rude cat. I opened the window and tried to shush it away but it wouldn’t go. I suddenly realised that out here in the country, it seldom if ever got to see such a fine figure of a man as me.
It was probably just entranced wasn't it? And who can blame it for that.
So I Iet it look.
An animal lover too, I am.

We met again in Santarem.
It’s here that pilgrims to Fatima branch off to the left, leaving us Portugeezers and Portugaliers to plod on along the Camino proper towards Porto.
Jessica and Emily headed for Fatima.

A day or so later I fell over on the road, nearly got myself runned over.
While I thought I was ok at the time, the left side of my chest started hurting, bad, and my pack strap was sorely aggravating it.
I decided I’d best take a few days off. Hopefully it was only bruised and I hadn’t cracked a rib, or done something more serious.
So what to do on my R & R?
I consulted my map and of course saw Fatima, back down towards Lisbon, out towards the coast. Should’ve walked there anyway. Bit stupid for someone raised a Catholic to walk up thru Portugal without going to Fatima.
As schoolboys, the Sisters of Mercy, who wielded a mean strap in an attempt to ensure that we paid attention, were nothing if not persistent in their endeavours to make us aware of the events that were reported to have occurred there.

The bus pulled in to Fatima late in the afternoon. It was going to be difficult to find a bed.
Town was busy with pilgrims.
I’d met several large groups on the way up from Lisbon. All of Portugal seemed to be excited at the imminent arrival of Pope Francis.

After a couple of hours traipsing about with my pack on, looking for a bed, and getting nowhere, I spotted the fire brigade. The famous ‘Bomberos’.
Most of the Portuguese pilgrim groups had been staying with the Bomberos on their way north. And yesterday I’d met a French couple who said they had actually stayed with them here in Fatima.
I was about getting to the end of my tether when I staggered up to a group of 15 or so firemen gathered chatting at the front door.
“Any chance of a spot on the floor here tonight?” I asked politely.
Blimey, talk about getting attacked by the negative. They left me in no doubt that there was not a hope in hell of me being able to requisition a floorboard there.
They mouthed off at me then angrily waved me away down the street as they turned away.
Rude swine.
A local quickly approached and apologised for their behaviour. He kindly walked me to a hotel where a relation of his worked.
It was now 8pm and having run out of options I had to settled for a twin bedded hotel room, imo the very worst type of accommodation. Mediocre, boring, and, if only for those two reasons, overpriced.
And the name of this establishment?
The Divine Word Hotel.
Enough to make your stomach turn.
And it did.

Sean, a nephew of mine, skyped me that evening from the UAE. Sean’s got a bar on one of the southern Japanese islands, Miyazaki. As an interesting diversion he had scored a job for a few months with a UAE professional soccer club, translating for a Japanese player.
“Uncle Gee (that’s what young family members call me), you’re close to Nazare!” he said.
“Nazare, where the mountains move. You’ve got to go out there for a look!”
Mad surfer, he is. I then remembered Nazare. Huge waves rear up close to the rocky shore. It’s here that surfing world records are set. It’s one of the world's great, big-wave surf spots.
Plug Nazare into Utube and see the brave ride.
I determined that was where the remainder of my R&R would be spent.

The next morning I wandered about exploring the Sanctuario, the enormous central open-air tiled area that would hold tens, if not hundreds of thousands. It is fringed by the various buildings required to cater to the spiritual needs of the obviously moved and devout Fatima pilgrims.

On 13 May 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared here to three children who were grazing sheep. She appeared in total six times to the children, giving them messages to deliver.
Their story was received with scepticism by their parents and the church but they gradually gathered believers and their story was finally authenticated by the Vatican.

Pope Francis is coming to officiate at the canonisation of brother and sister Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who were nine and seven at the time of the apparitions. Just two years later they died in a severe influenza epidemic. The third member of this little shepherding trio was their cousin, Lucia dos Santos. She is along the way towards beatification, the first step toward becoming a saint, but her case couldn't start until after her death in 2005.
Unlike her little cousins she lived to a ripe old age.

After my limited curiosity as to the Sanctuario had been sufficed I wandered around town.
As I did I came across a ‘Hotel Santa Maria’, and a ‘Hotel Sao Jose’.
A number of other hotels, also named after saints, had my stomach turning again and my anger rising.
I determined to leave this more than uninteresting town and high-tail it to Nazare.

As I collected my pack from the hotel then walked towards the bus station I swore to myself that if I came across a ‘Hotel Baby Jesus’, which was no doubt well within the realm of possibility, I would protest by hurling a brick thru its front window.
Those rotten Bomberos, I’ll donate one to them too.

Regards
Gerard....I'm a Portugeezer

PS.
Grumpy?
Me?
You think?

Fátima was long a favourite pilgrimage site for Pope, now Saint John Paul II.
He credited the Virgin Mary with saving his life in 1981 when a would-be assassin shot him on Fátima feast day – 13 May – in St Peter’s Square, Rome.
He made the first of three pilgrimages to Fátima the following May, and one of the bullets fired at him has been inserted into the crown of the Madonna at the shrine.
 
Last edited:

Jersey

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2017
Two lovely ladies.
Mother and daughter.
Jessica and Emily, and me.
We met heading for the tile museum on the first morning out of Lisbon.
“From Delaware, the smallest state in the Union!” they proudly informed me.

I shuffled my memory bank to recall what I knew about Delaware.
You don’t want to come across as a complete numbskull do you?
“Delaware!” I exclaimed, “I know about Delaware. Some famous bloke once crossed a river there didn’t he? The Delaware River, if my memory serves me correctly.”
“Washington!” I suddenly recalled. “It was him wasn’t it! I don’t know where he was going, or why, but I’m pretty sure he was the bloke that crossed the river.”
And that seemed to be about the limit of my knowledge regarding Delaware.

“Indeed he did,” replied Emily. “It’s just perhaps unfortunate that the Delaware River is not within the state of Delaware, because that means that your knowledge of the state is not just limited, it is in fact non-existent.”
So, complete numbskull it is then.

First morning of my Camino and at the Tile Museum I fall asleep in a comfy chair during a movie presentation on Portuguese tiling.
Can’t be blamed for that can I? I mean not the most scintillating subject matter is it? Not exactly riveting entertainment.
Woke up an hour and a half later.
Jessica and Emily had seized the opportunity to escape, altho they did subsequently deny that. They said they couldn't find me. Just being polite I reckon.
Anyway, I'm known for my uncanny ability to snore during movies so I'm pretty sure my supposition is correct. Whatever, they had long gone by the time I awoke.
Caught up with them a few days later when we stayed together at a big stone country farmhouse farmhouse that was being lovingly restored by an interesting Portuguese architect lady. She cooked us a fine dinner as we watched and chatted and drank fine wine in her huge kitchen.
She must be an animal lover as I counted eleven dogs in two big enclosed runs and twelve cats similarly restrained in separate accommodation. Thirteen cats in fact, if you also count the one that sat outside my first floor bedroom window watching me undress. Rude cat. I opened the window and tried to shush it away but it wouldn’t go. I suddenly realised that out here in the country, it seldom if ever got to see such a fine figure of a man as me.
It was probably just entranced wasn't it? And who can blame it for that.
So I Iet it look.
An animal lover too, I am.

We met again in Santarem.
It’s here that pilgrims to Fatima branch off to the left, leaving us Portugeezers and Portugaliers to plod on along the Camino proper towards Porto.
Jessica and Emily headed for Fatima.

A day or so later I fell over on the road, nearly got myself run over.
While I thought I was ok at the time, the left side of my chest started
hurting, bad, and my pack strap was sorely aggravating it.
I decided I’d best take a few days off. Hopefully it was only bruised and I hadn’t cracked a rib, or done something more serious.
So what to do on my R & R?
I consulted my map and of course saw Fatima, back down towards Lisbon, out towards the coast. Should’ve walked there anyway. Bit stupid for someone raised a Catholic to walk up thru Portugal without going to Fatima.
As schoolboys, the Sisters of Mercy, who wielded a mean strap in an attempt to ensure that we paid attention, were nothing if not persistent in their endeavours to make us aware of the events that were reported to have occurred there.

The bus pulled in to Fatima late in the afternoon. It was going to be difficult to find a bed.
Town was busy with pilgrims.
I’d met several large groups on the way up from Lisbon. All of Portugal seemed to be excited at the imminent arrival of Pope Francis.

After a couple of hours traipsing about with my pack on, looking for a bed, and getting nowhere, I spotted the fire brigade. The famous ‘Bomberos’.
Most of the Portuguese pilgrim groups had been staying with the Bomberos on their way north. And yesterday I’d met a French couple who said they had actually stayed with them here in Fatima.
I was about getting to the end of my tether when I staggered up to a group of 15 or so firemen gathered chatting at the front door.
“Any chance of a spot on the floor here tonight?” I asked politely.
Blimey, talk about getting attacked by the negative. They left me in no doubt that there was not a hope in hell of me being able to requisition a floorboard there.
They mouthed off at me then angrily waved me away down the street as they turned away.
Rude swine.
A local quickly approached and apologised for their behaviour. He kindly walked me to a hotel where a relation of his worked.
It was now 8pm and having run out of options I had to settled for a twin bedded hotel room, imo the very worst type of accommodation. Mediocre, boring, and, if only for those two reasons, overpriced.
And the name of this establishment?
The Divine Word Hotel.
Enough to make your stomach turn.
And it did.

Sean, a nephew of mine, skyped me that evening from the UAE. Sean’s got a bar on one of the southern Japanese islands, Miyazaki. As an interesting diversion he had scored a job for a few months with a UAE professional soccer club, translating for a Japanese player.
“Uncle Gee (that’s what young family members call me), you’re close to Nazare!” he said.
“Nazare, where the mountains move. You’ve got to go out there for a look!”
Mad surfer, he is. I then remembered Nazare. Huge waves rear up close to the rocky shore. It’s here that surfing world records are set. It’s one of the world's great, big-wave surf spots.
Plug Nazare into Utube and see the brave ride.
I determined that was where the remainder of my R&R would be spent.

The next morning I wandered about exploring the Sanctuario, the enormous central open-air tiled area that would hold tens, if not hundreds of thousands. It is fringed by the various buildings required to cater to the spiritual needs of the obviously moved and devout Fatima pilgrims.

On 13 May 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared here to three children who were grazing sheep. She appeared in total six times to the children, giving them messages to deliver.
Their story was received with scepticism by their parents and the church but they gradually gathered believers and their story was finally authenticated by the Vatican.

Pope Francis is coming to officiate at the canonisation of brother and sister Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who were nine and seven at the time of the apparitions. They died of influenza two years later. The third member of this little shepherding trio was their cousin, Lucia dos Santos. She is along the way towards beatification, the first step toward becoming a saint, but her case couldn't start until after her death in 2005.
Unlike her cousins she lived to a ripe old age.

After my limited curiosity as to the Sanctuario had been sufficed I wandered around town.
As I did I came across a ‘Hotel Santa Maria’, and a ‘Hotel Sao Jose’.
A number of other hotels, also named after saints, had my stomach turning again and my anger rising.
I determined to leave this more than uninteresting town and high-tail it to Nazare.

As I collected my pack from the hotel then walked towards the bus station I swore to myself that if I came across a ‘Hotel Baby Jesus’, which was no doubt well within the realm of possibility, I would protest by hurling a brick thru its front window.
Those rotten Bomberos, I’ll donate one to them too.

Regards
Gerard....I'm a Portugeezer

PS.
Grumpy?
Me?
You think?

Fátima was long a favourite pilgrimage site for Pope, now Saint John Paul II.
He credited the Virgin Mary with saving his life in 1981 when a would-be assassin shot him on Fátima feast day – 13 May – in St Peter’s Square, Rome.
He made the first of three pilgrimages to Fátima the following May, and one of the bullets fired at him has been inserted into the crown of the Madonna at the shrine.
Actually Rhode Island is the smallest state in the USA
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CFx2, CPx1
Actually Rhode Island is the smallest state in the USA
That being the case I will blame the error on my memory as I am positive that Emily would not have made such an elementary mistake. My apologies to her.
 
Last edited:

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