First Demonstration of Portuguese Catholic Youth
From a Special Correspondent
Three years ago the Catholic Youth Movement was started in Portugal, but its first collective demonstration was held at Fatima on August 12 and 13 of this year.
At the same time a pilgrimage was made from all the parishes of the diocese of Leiria, making a gathering of close upon 50,000 persons.
The place chosen was the Portuguese "Lourdes," although at present Fatima is national rather than international, with no pilgrims other than the faithful of the country. Here on May 13, 1917, Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children, but since that date a large tract of waste ground has been converted into a sanctuary and a basilica is in course of erection.
"Soul of Portugal"
Massed on the steps of the future basilica before the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon and the Bishops of Leiria and Evora, the young men were first addressed by the President of the National Direction of Catholic Youth, who referred to Fatima as the " soul of Portugal."
The "Coro falado" followed, in which the assembly made affirmations of Catholic and patriotic faith, ending with a solemn oath to defend the religion of Christ and Christian Portugal.
The promise was made with extended right arm.
At its conclusion the Cardinal Patriarch said that Catholic Youth was the " corn for the great harvest of tomorrow " and that it had the thanks of the Church of Portugal and the blessing of the Holy Father whom he had seen a few weeks before.