84% Baptized Catholics – How Portugal Achieved Such a Strong Faith

Religious Sights in PortugalFinding good destinations for a religious vacation is not easy. Most of the top destinations in the world, most of the top ones are full of partying, excessive drinking, and other things that make them unsuitable for a Christian looking for a getaway.

However, there are some amazing destinations where you can enjoy an amazing time. One of these destinations is Portugal.

With 84% of its population being baptized Catholics, Portugal is an ideal destination for Christians looking to get away from their busy daily lives. The country boasts of several religious sites and tons of religious festivals and events.

During the last number of trips in the country, I have found out that the best way to explore these destinations and experience the festivals is by hiring campervans from my new friends at Siesta Campers – siestacampers.com.

Top religious sites you should check out in Portugal

If you are visiting Portugal for the first time, below are some of the top sacred sites you should check out:

• Lisbon Cathedral

Lisbon Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church that is located in the city of Lisbon. It is one of the oldest sacred sites in the city, with the structure having been built in 1147. Despite being around for several hundreds of years and experiencing a number of major earthquakes, the cathedral is still standing strong. One of the things you will find interesting about the cathedral is that it said to be where Saint Anthony of Padua was baptized.

• Templo de Diana

The Templo de Diana, also referred to as Templo Romano de Evora (The Roman Temple of Evora) is an ancient temple in the city if Evora. It is one of the most significant structures in Portugal, having been built around the first century A.D, during the era or Roman and Lusitanian civilizations in the Portuguese territories.

• Bom Jesús Do Monte

Bom Jesus Do Monte is a sanctuary located just a short distance away from the city of Braga, which is used as a pilgrimage site by Catholics. The construction of the sanctuary began in 1722 when the Archbishop of Braga commissioned the construction of the Sacred Way, where the Catholic faithful could come for penance and contemplation. One of the most significant features of the sanctuary is a Baroque stairway that climbs 381 feet. It is one of the top tourist destinations in Braga.

• Convento da Ordem de Cristo

Convento da Ordem de Cristo, which means the Convent of the Order of Christ, is an iconic convent located in Tomar, Portugal. It was built by the Knights Templar in 1160, along a volatile border that experienced conflict between Muslims and Christians. It was built as a fortress, and for nearly five centuries, it served as a Templar stronghold. Due to its cultural and architectural significance, the convent was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

Religious festivals and events in Portugal

Portugal is not only a country with beautiful landscapes and iconic architectural structures; it also has an amazing cultural heritage, which is comprised of among other things, several festivals and events. These festivals and events include those of a religious nature, and you should definitely check them out when visiting the country. Below is a look at some of them.

• The Holy Week

The Holy Week is a Christian event that is celebrated all over the world. However, in Portugal, celebrations are done in style. While there are several celebrations across this largely Catholic country, the most elaborate one is in Braga, which takes place in the streets of the city. Several religious motifs, flowers, and lights are lined up in the streets, where colorful parades pass through. Dancing and fireworks are added to help liven up the celebrations.

• Fatima Pilgrimage

There are regular pilgrimages to the Our Lady of Fatima sanctuary that is located in Ourem, Portugal. However, during the anniversary to celebrate the appearance of the Virgin Mary in the Sanctuary, several faithful come out in large to attend mass. This is followed by spectacular candlelight processions, where spectators wave white handkerchiefs as a sign of farewell to the Virgin Mary.

• Festa de Sao Jao

Festa de Sao Jao is a festival that is held in several cities in Portugal (each with a different style) to honor John the Baptist. Celebrations during this festival include sacred traditions combined with other events such as processions, illuminations, folk dramas, and fireworks, which makes the event very lively.

Summary

Road Trip With a CampervanFrom the above sacred sites and religious festivals and events, it is quite clear that Portugal is a great destination for Christians looking for a getaway.

As already mentioned, the best way to see all these religious destinations and festivals is through a campervan, as it allows you to move around easily and with much freedom.

You can find out more information about the company my brethren use and what they can offer you here, www.siestacampers.com/faq/.

Where do you go to discover christian culture and retreats? Let us know and maybe we will cross paths…

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