After a long night and day of travel (with a layover in Frankfurt), we arrived in Lisbon, Portugal, around 3:30pm local time (around 10:30am Detroit time). We immediately made our way for the bus for the 2 hour trip to Fatima, where our Blessed Mother appeared to the three shepherd children back in 1917.
When we arrived, we dropped off our bags and walked to the basilica (which is about a five minute walk from our guest house) for Mass in the Chapel of the Resurrection. We celebrated the Mass of Our Lady of Fatima, which was a beautiful way to start off our pilgrimage, honoring the Mother of God. Msgr. Trapp preached a wonderful homily about getting to know Mary in a personal way, making her our mother.
After Mass, we checked in to our rooms and had a nice dinner here at the Domus Pacis, where we are staying. Then, we were given the option of going back to the basilica for their nightly rosary and Eucharistic procession.
Each night, in the chapel that is located on the spot of the apparition, a rosary is led in several different languages. It was a beautiful expression of the universality of the church, as people from all over the world prayed the rosary together. Following that, there is a candlelit procession around the basilica square. Usually it is a procession with a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, but today was a Eucharistic procession. It was a very prayerful, very moving way to end our first night in Europe.
We are having problems uploading pictures from this location, so stay tuned in a day or two when we try again from another location.