Monday, October 1, 2012

The Melillo's Pilgrimage Continues: Our Lady of Remedies - Lamego, Portugal


Our second stop.
Our first glimpse of Our Lady of Remedies in Lamego, Portugal was incredible viewing it from below the Cathedral.  But … to get to the actual Church, we had to go up YET ANOTHER MOUNTAIN via winding and narrow roads.  It proved to be fairly easy, though and we arrived at the Shrine of Our Lady of Remedies.
This is a very, very old Church and the views are breathtaking.  It is not as detailed as some of the other Shrines we have seen … but it is an “old world feel” and beautiful.  It actually is somewhat similar to the Bom Jesus Shrine on a much smaller scale.
When we arrived, we took some photos of the exterior and the views …   When we entered the Shrine, we saw that a wedding had just taken place and the Bride/Groom and guests were departing.  Once again, as we entered, there was a sign saying “No Photos” in all sorts of languages (don’t worry … got it!). 

The main focal point of the Shrine is Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.  It was beautifully adorned with statues and depictions of Our Blessed Mother, Jesus Christ and Saints. 
We knelt, Prayed and then sat in one of the pews reflecting on this spiritual journey.  We had carried a large list that we had comprised from your intentions for all those who are ill and/or in need  healing in some manner or another including us.   We added many names to the list who had not sent us specific intentions, but we know they are suffering and wanted offer up our Prayers for them.
I looked for a place to deliver the Intentions to no avail.  I was just about to reach up and “hide” the intentions on top of a pillar near the depiction of Our Blessed Mother when someone walked close to us and I decided against it (good thing I did).  We were still standing there when a Nun who was “organizing things” after the wedding party had left was walking near us and Susan said … “Let’s ask Sister”.  So I did.  She understood exactly what I was “trying” to do (universal language again).  She didn’t speak a bit of English and I pulled all of the Intentions (two sealed envelopes and some printed e-mails as well as our compiled list for this Shrine) out of my pocket and showed it to her. 
Sister was trying very patiently to communicate with us when a woman walked us and told us in broken English that Sister was trying to ask if we would “entrust” her with the Intentions.  Without hesitation, I handed the package to Sister and held it in her hands with a silent Prayer and knowing that we had now placed your/our Intentions into the hands of one of God’s messengers. 
Susan and I both thanked Sister several times and she stood looking at us and shaking her head.  She then said as clearly as day … “No … No … Thank You!”.  We knew that her “message” was that she was grateful that we entrusted her with YOUR requests to Our Blessed Mother … Our Lady of Remedies. She was our  Angel of the day.

We reverently departed the Shrine and, before leaving, we did our normal stop into the Religious Store.  We went in to get another small memento for our religious table at home … you know … that table we keep near the front of our home with mementos from the Shrines we have been Blessed to have visited?  Well, now I think I have to call it … the new LARGER TABLE I AM GIONG TO HAVE TO BUY when we get home!
I also selected another medal for Susan’s Blessed Mother bracelet and we proceeded to check out with a sweet young and tiny Nun who was standing at the counter.  As we checked out, she spoke English very well and we got into a discussion about the places we had visited, her suggestions of places to visit and just “enjoying a great conversation”.  When Sister asked us where we were from and we told her we were from the United States (Florida), she beamed and said “Oh … and you came by bus????”.  I said “No, bus”.  With that, Sister began giggling and giggling away as the three of us did.  She knew that she “meant plane” but it came out “bus”. 
We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Sister, bid her farewell after promising to add her to our e-mail list for Trip Reports and we were off to “Shrine No. 3 of the Day … Our Lady of Lapa (Part Two) … Sernachele, Portugal.
Something has to wrong this is too easy today.
May Our Blessed Mother wrap Her Mantle around each of you.

Tom & Susan
 Our Lady of Remedies
The statue of “Our Lady of Remedy(Portuguese Term “Nossa Senhora dos Remédios”)”

This statue of Our Lady of Remedy is at the Our Lady of Remedy church at Remedy village in Baçaím (Vasai).The church of Our Lady of Remedy was erected in the year 1577 and its on the midway between the Vasai Fort and village of Agashi(Agaçaím).Donna Anna Ortiz was the main donor of this church.After the church was built,it was dedicated to “Our Lady of Remedy” probably because it had an image of “Our Lady” that have said to have worked wondrous cures.Many Europeans in those era while passing from the fort drawn to this devotion.In 1605 came ecclesiastical approval of 120 miracles attributed to “Our Lady of Remedy of Bassein”.Referring to this phenomena,more than four years ago,the famous Portuguese chronicler,Diogo do Couto,emphatically states:”THIS LADY HAD PERFORMED SO MANY MIRACLES THAT THE WALLS OF THE CHURCH ARE COVERED WITH PICTURES REPRESENTING THEM”.Moreover,in front church was an ancient mark with water,believed to have power of healing.
This church continued to be so well-known.We have the words of one of its devotees,the famous Jesuit Fr.Manuel Godinho.He had been entrusted by the viceroy of Goa with a crucial diplomatic mission:”to go and influence the king of Portugal not to cede the island of Bombay to the birtish”.Fr Manuel Godinho writes as follows”………….ON 15TH DECEMBER 1662,I WENT TO THE CHURCH OF “OUR LADY OF REMEDY” WHICH IS AT THE DISTANCE OF TWO CANON SHOTS FROM THE CITY(VASAI FORT).IN THE PRESENCE OF THAT MIRACULOUS STATUE,WHICH IS WORSHIPPED BY CHRISTIANS,MUSLIMS AND HINDUS ALIKE,I OFFERED TO GOD ANY ADVERSITIES I WOULD ENCOUNTER IN THE COURSE OF THE VERY DIFFICULT AND DANGEROUS JOURNEY I PROPOSED TO UNDERTAKE AND,AFTER TAKING HER BLESSINGS AND WITH GREAT CONFIDENCE IN HER PATRONAGE,I STARTED ON MY WAY”.
The devotion continued and,very significantly this shrine had not been touched by the arab invaders of 1679 when they set fire to the churches of Sandor and Papdy village.Thirty years later the Italian traveller,Gemelli Carreri recorded as follows:”THURSDAY THE 3RD FEBRUARY 1695,I WENT OT VISIT THE IMAGE OF “OUR LADY DE DOS REMEDIOS”,STANDING IN A PARISH CHURCH BELONGING TO THE DOMINICANS ON THE ROAD TO THE CASABE ”.and he went on to say:”ABOUT FIVE YEARS SINCE THIS CHURCH WAS BURNT BY KAKAJI(MARATHI RULER),A GENTILE SUBJECT TO THE GREAT MOGHUL,WHO IS GREAT MULTITUDE OF OUTLAWS WENT ABOUT LIKE A ROVER,PLUNDERING AND BURNING VILLAGES”.
The current statue of “Our Lady of Remedy” was sculpted by Michael Sequeira from Vasai and it was installed in the church in somewhere around 1952(date not sure).This statue is said to be depicted from the miraculous image of “Our Lady of Remedy” which was once present in the church and had gained devotions of European travellers of Portuguese era.The church of Our Lady of Remedy was declared as the Diocesan Shrine of Vasai diocese by Bishop Thomas Dabre in 1999.Following such glorifying past of Our Lady of Remedy,many devotees across Vasai and tourist/travellers visit this shrine to pay homage to Our Lady of Remedy, During all Saturdays of June, special devotions(Novenas) are held in this shrine.

Its being said that if your onto a visit to explore Vasai & if you don’t visit this place then surely you have missed the most charismatic experience of Vasai,Such is the profound & miraculous history of Our Lady of Remedy.
The statue of “Our Lady of Remedy(Portuguese Term “Nossa Senhora dos Remédios”)”

The Shrine of Our Lady of Remedies has the city of Lamego at his feet at a distance of 686 steps.
From the top of Mount St. Stephen, the church of eighteenth-century mark and staircase leading to it, due to its imposing monumentality, are one of the landmarks and landscapes of Lamego Portugal.
The popular devotion at the site dates back to 1361, when it was erected a chapel dedicated to St. Stephen No, however, years later (1568) and threatening ruin was demolished at the behest of the bishop of Lamego D. Manuel de Noronha, sending up another under the invocation of Our Lady of Remedies and home to a precious image brought especially Rome. This chapel was finally demolished also due to the large turnout of the faithful, which justified the construction of the current Temple, at the behest of the Rev. Canon José Pinto Teixeira, whose first stone was laid in 1750, only being completed in full in 1905.Esta work, one of the most beautiful of all Baroque style is crafted in granite, said in its construction with the mastery of Nasoni and several Portuguese architects from different eras. The two towers are designed by architect Augusto de Matos Cid and began years later. The south side was begun in 1880, coming from the north side of the tower to be completed only in 1905.