Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Lapa: a passagem estreita de um dos mais antigos santuários de Portugal

Igreja do Santuário créditos: Who Trips

No fio da história, na imaginação das lendas e no testemunho do patrimônio edificado há um ponto comum: as pedras. A pedra nas paredes da capela e do colégio, a pedra que nos purifica e a pedra, em forma de lapa, que de modo invulgar está no altar-mor da capela, por ter servido de abrigo da imagem da Senhora. 

Segundo a lenda, relatada por Ana Nunes, que trabalha no Santuário, nas invasões árabes, em 982, Almansor passou pelo caminho de Santiago de Compostela e destruiu o Convento de Sisimiro. Na altura, alguém terá escondido uma imagem da Senhora debaixo de um penedo.

510 anos depois a imagem foi descoberta por Joana, uma pastora muda, e fez despoletar o santuário.

Chegou a ser um dos maiores da península Ibérica, a par de Santiago de Compostela.

Foi fortemente impulsionado por jesuítas que construíram a maior parte do património que ainda se pode ver, embora algumas partes tenham sido reconstruídas. Outras mudaram de função.

São os casos da antiga cadeia e Câmara, que nos últimos anos foi adaptada a Museu, e o antigo colégio jesuíta que agora é uma casa de apoio ao peregrino.

Foi onde andou a estudar Aquilino Ribeiro. Entrou com 10 anos de idade, em 1895, e frequentou o colégio durante cinco anos.

O colégio é referência em algumas obras literárias e uma das mais marcantes é Uma Luz ao Longe.

Vista para a gruta no interior da igreja créditos: Who Trips

No altar-mor todos têm de praticar um ritual pagão que é muito popular: passar pela gruta, ver a imagem original no mesmo local onde foi encontrada e depois passar por um caminho estreito, entre o penedo e uma parede.

Diz o povo que só lá passa quem não tem pecados. Quem não consegue passar é porque não está bem e tem de se purificar. É uma tradição e um ritual que remete para várias origens, designadamente para uma passagem bíblica.

Nas palavras de Ana Nunes “ao passarmos por um caminho estreito e do outro lado está a luz, é a purificação. No caso da capela, é quando se entra na escuridão da gruta e logo a seguir os visitantes deparam com a luz da imagem da Senhora da Lapa. É a purificação”.

As paredes da capela estão cobertas com mosaicos do século XVII. 

Para além destas lendas e ritos pagãos, a maior parte das pessoas que visitam o santuário é por motivos religiosos e concentram-se em três peregrinações.

São duas novenas, nove dias em que as pessoas ficam no santuário e durante o dia têm eventos religiosos e depois culminam com a peregrinação. Uma a 10 de Junho, outra a 15 de Agosto e outra no terceiro domingo de Setembro.

Fonte: Sapo Pt

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