Skip to content

Understanding the devotion to Mary in Portugal

By Courtney Grogan (CNA/EWTN)
7/12/2018 (6 days ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

When the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima in 1917, Portugal had already acclaimed Mary as their reigning Queen for hundreds of years. After the coronation of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception as "Queen of Portugal" by King JoĂŁo IV in 1646, no Portuguese monarch ever wore a crown again.

Highlights

By Courtney Grogan (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
7/12/2018 (6 days ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: deep roots, Portugal's Marian, devotion


Lisbon, Portugal, (CNA/EWTN News) - The history of exceptional Marian devotion near Fatima dates back even further.

Fourteen miles from the Fatima Shrine is the Batalha Monastery, where several dozen Dominican friars were commissioned in 1388 to pray a perpetual rosary in thanksgiving for the Virgin Mary's protection of Portugal.

The gothic monastery in Batalha was built in dedication to Our Lady of Victory in gratitude for an answered prayer. In 1385 King Joao I made a vow to the Virgin Mary that he would build a great monastery if she would deliver him victory in a battle against the Spanish.

The Dominican community remained in the monastery until 1834, when all religious orders were driven out of Portugal. Today it continues to function as both the local parish and a tourist attraction.

In nearby Alcobaca, a Cistercian monastery has stood in honor of Mary for over 800 years. The king of Portugal endowed the monastery to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in 1153, shortly before the Cistercian founder's death. The gothic church was completed in 1223.

Benedict XVI has described Saint Bernard of Clairvaux as "a Doctor of Mariology" because "he understood her essential role in the Church, presenting her as the perfect model of the monastic life and of every other form of the Christian life."

An altarpiece in the Alcobaca Monastery, added in 1705, depicts the death of Saint Bernard under the protection of Mary. The walls in the monastery's King's Hall are decorated with 16th century blue and white rococo tile scenes depicting the history of the Cistercian order. An ornate oval baroque reliquary chapel containing 71 terracotta reliquary busts from floor to ceiling can be found in the sacristy. Napoleon's troops plundered the monastery in 1811, shortly before the Cistercians, like Batalha's Dominicans, were forced to leave Portugal.

Fewer than 10 miles from Alcobaca is the beachside town of Nazare, named for a statue of the Virgin Mary brought from Nazareth by a monk in the 8th century, according to the local tradition.

Before Nazare became a world-famous surfing destination with 80-foot waves, it was a popular medieval pilgrimage site. In 1182, a Portuguese knight was hunting a deer near the coast. When his horse nearly ran over one of Nazare's steep cliffs, he called out "Our Lady, Help Me!" and his horse stopped just at the cliff's precipice next to the small grotto with the Nazareth statue.

In thanksgiving for his life, the knight had a small chapel built around the statue, which went on to receive so many visitors that a larger church dedicated to Our Lady of Nazare was built near the cliffs by the King of Portugal in 1377 to house the statue and its pilgrims.

Despite the centuries-long tradition of Marian devotion in Portugal, when Our Lady of Fatima appeared in 1917, Catholics were not thriving in the country.

When the monarchy was abolished in 1910, the revolutionaries attempted to root out Catholicism and its Marian queen along with it, seizing all of the Church's property and assets. A popular illustration of the 1910 revolution includes an image of armed men marching out priests at gunpoint.

Anticlericalism peaked in the years leading up to the Fatima apparitions, causing the pope to speak out about the persecution of the Church under the First Portuguese Republic.

In 1911, Saint Pius X issued an encyclical, Iamdudum, decrying the secularization occuring in Portugal.

"We have seen, arising out of an obstinate determination to secularize every civil organization and to leave no trace of religion in the acts of common life, the deletion of the feast days of the Church from the number of public festivals, the abolition of religious oaths, the hasty establishment of the law of divorce and religious instruction banished from the public schools," wrote the pope.

St. Pius X's successor, Benedict XV, would go on to write a letter to his secretary of state for all the world's bishops on May 5, 1917 asking for prayers to the Virgin Mary for peace amid the ongoing devastation of World War I throughout Europe. In this letter, the pope made permanent an additional title for Mary in the Litany of Loreto: "Regina pacis," or "Queen of peace."

When Mary appeared in Portugal as Our Lady of the Rosary nine days later, she instructed, "Pray the Rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war." The Portuguese tradition of the perpetual rosary, dating back more than 500 years, would continue.
 

Your Prayer Requests 'LIVE'

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2018
Priests and their Pastoral Ministry.
That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.


Comments


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.