Today was the final day of our pilgrimage. After crossing France, Spain, and Portugal, we knew we had just one more day before making our return journey to the States. It was only fitting that our journey should end as it began--with a veneration of our Queen and mother, Mary. We began our day with a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. We explored the Shrine, both Basilicas, as well as the exterior of the humble chapel built on the spot of the Marian apparitions. Following our tour, we met at the chapel of the apparitions where Fr. Ray celebrated Mass for not only our group but many other English speaking pilgrims at the shrine. Following Mass, we left the peaceful shrine behind and journeyed through Fatima to a place that has been preserved from the growth of the city. Along the route of the children of Fatima, we prayed the stations of the cross, a fitting prayer for a hot, Portuguese Friday. The way of the cross, its many stone carvings donated by the people of Hungary, wound through the woods and up onto a hill, where stood a replica of the crucifixion cast in pale stone. We prayed there before making our way to a much older part of Fatima. There, we walked through the houses in which the three children lived. We even got a glimpse of the bed in which little Francisco passed from this world on into the heaven his Lady had shown him. With the final part of our tour complete, we separated for lunch, some final shopping, and some much needed time in prayer. We then joined together this evening for one final dinner together and after we were full of good food and wine and conversation, Fr. Ray did us the great honor of blessing our rosaries and statues and every other sort of sacramental we had collected over the course of this wonderful trip. Once the sun set, we travelled back to the Shrine to pray the rosary with our brothers and sisters from all around the world. Our time in Portugal ended with a candlelight procession to honor the Lady so close to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the woman who wraps us under her mantle and teaches us to love and console her son. Mary, our mother, thank you for every minute of this wonderful pilgrimage. Bring us home safely, Amen.