The popular Portuguese celebration of Our Lady of the Mount saw even greater numbers than usual last Sunday with the special visit of a priest from the same town in which Mary is said to have appeared.
Over 300 parishioners from the Portuguese community came together, on August 19, to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Mount, a traditional Portuguese devotion, at Holy Cross Parish in Hamilton Hill.
As usual, they did it in style: elegant linen and bright drapes complimented the hundreds of flowers which adorned the sanctuary.
Portuguese tradition was brought to life as the choir sang hymns of dedication to Our Lady and girls in traditional dress assisted in the offertory procession.
The Feast was particularly special this year as Fr Ignacio Rodrigues, of the Diocese of Funchal in Madeira, flew to Perth to concelebrate the Mass with Fathers Julian Carrasco, Nicholas Nweke and Joe Cardoso.
During his homily, Fr Ignacio focussed on the importance of trusting in the Word of God and highlighted both Mary’s and St Joseph’s examples throughout their lives.
Fr Ignacio also made the point that Our Lady is not equal to God or Jesus Christ and that it was only through God’s will that she was able to bear His son and ultimately be assumed into heaven.
Following Mass the congregation processed with a statue of Our Lady through the streets of Hamilton Hill while praying the Holy Rosary.
The celebration concluded with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by lunch at the WA Portuguese Club in Fremantle.
The Feast of Our Lady of the Mount is one of the biggest religious celebrations of the year for the Portuguese Archipelago of Madeira.
The feast began when an apparition of the Virgin Mary was said to have appeared on a rock face near Our Lady of the Mount church.
Today a small shrine stands in the Largo da Fonte where the Apparition was said to have appeared.
Our Lady of the Mount has been the Patron Saint of Madeira since 1803.