THE story of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fatima, (Nossa Senhora de Fátima in Portuguese), has all these years inspired us to pray the Holy Rosary and seek peace. October is the month of Our Lady of Fatima and the mysteries of the holy rosary recall the important facets of the travails of the Virgin Mary and Jesus.
The religious pilgrimage to Fatima brings tourists closer to the story of our Lady’s apparition to the three children, Lucia dos Santos and her two cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto. The holy place of apparition and the miracles invoke a sense of holiness and fervent faith.
In the recent Tourism Congress of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry 2019, guest speaker, former Department of Tourism (DOT) secretary Mina Gabor, mentioned the new perspectives of enriching religious and farm tourism. She cited that if religious pilgrimages to Europe have become tourism itineraries, our tourism players could also promote the same in the Philippines. For instance, Cebu has the oldest churches and museums in the Philippines which could be promoted, especially during the Lenten season.
I requested Fr. Cristopher Maspara, OAR, University of San Jose –Recoletos (USJ-R) president, to share with me some memoirs of his recent Marian pilgrimage including Fatima. A meaningful respite from work, his trip to Fatima will add dimensions in making the tourism courses of USJR in step with global thrusts in religious tourism.
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