The beginning of the 40 Days of Lent, the period preceding Easter & Inviting you to visit Fátima
Today is Ash-Wednesday - As a Catholic believer in Portugal, but also a very respectful Human Being towards the many other Religions, I thought it would be meaningful to dedicate a piece of my time today, to this rather important occasion for the Christians, as myself.
According to the ancient rite, the Penitence sacrament marked the beginning of Lent. The Sacred Ashes that at placed today on our foreheads, represent above all our fragile Human condition before the Lord “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust”(Gen 18, 27). It stands for our repentance on renovating our Hearts and choosing to return to the Path of Our Father in Heaven, Who waits each one of us with Arms wide open. As Pope Francisco has said today, and quoting his wise words:
“_ The path towards Easter call us to precisely restore our character and Christian hearts, through repentance, conversion and forgiveness in order to live fully the mystery of Paschal Grace. Lent is the sacramental sign of this conversion. It tells us to live this more intensely and closely within ourselves, our family and in the community through fasting, prayer and almsgiving. Being “Fast” the way to learn how to change our attitude with others, the ability to suffer for Love, and filling with this, the emptiness in our hearts. “Pray”, in order to renounce our constant hunger of self-sufficiency and “Me, first”, recognizing that we need the Lord and His Mercy. “Almsgiving”, to drive ourselves away from the constant fighting on obtaining things and money with the illusion of a secure and constant future, which in fact is not ours to decide. By doing this, we will be capable of finding again joy on what God created for us: the project of loving Him and all our Brothers in the world, finding this way, Love and true Happiness. (…)”
In Portugal, we have many Catholic Traditions and look to respect and honor each one of them with Faith and deeply Belief on our self-renovation, when helping and being available on approaching the ones in need.
As a Catholic Daughter, Wife, Friend, Professional and Traveler, I always do my best to share the values I was raised with. Independently of all the people`s beliefs, coming from all corners of our world to visit us, it’s a fact that we receive all of them with Joy, Respect, Gratitude and Humbleness. As we do in all our Tours and even with all the Partners we work with.
Being this season a very special one, I invite you, being a Catholic or not, to come in Peace and visit our Historic and Christian sites, after all, we also learn each one´s Culture and Ways of Life by discovering their own history.
And if wanting to come with me for a 1 Day or 2 Days visit to Fátima, one of the most important Marian Shrines in the world and passing though Batalha, Alcobaça, Nazaré and Óbidos, you will be most welcome. Our great happiness will be escorting you and explaining its meaning and symbolism, beyond any pretenses or beliefs.
As already mentioned, our Hearts are open to receive each one of you with Respect, a Smile and always with our arms open.
Yours with Joy,