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Almada Portugal and the Shrine of Christ the King

National Sanctuary of Christ the King, Avenida Cristo Rei, Almada, Portugalska

Website of the Sanctuary

+35 1 212 751 000

Every day from 9.00 to 18.00

Almada Portugal and the Shrine of Christ the King

On May 17, 1959, the Shrine of Christ the King is inaugurated. On that day, 300 thousand people wanted to be present to celebrate Christ the King and Redeemer, in the Statue then built.

The preeminent Monument to Christ the King is the corner stone of this space, but the hectares of ground of the Shrine have today a lot more to offer to its pilgrims.

Almada Portugal and the Shrine of Christ the King Portugal

The Monument Christ the King

  • Winter – 9h30 to 18h15 (last climb at 18h00)
  • Summer – week days: 9h30 to 18h30 (last climb at 18h15)
  • Week end: 9h30 to 19h00 (last climb at 18h45)

The Monument to Christ the King faces Lisbon from Almada; it was built on a hill overlooking the River Tagus; and rises up 113 meters above ground. It shows Christ with open arms as if wanting to embrace the City of Lisbon and the whole Country.

The statue sits on a pedestal made of four pillars in the shape of an arch, which represent the four cardinal points. Since the arch is also the architectonic expression of the idea of triumph, they symbolize, then, the triumph of the universal kingship of Christ over the whole world, which is represented by the ring that circles the Monument.

Almada Portugal and the Shrine of Christ the King Portugal

The detail of open arms in the statue of Christ the King was needed so that Christ could be visible in the contours of His human figure and not confused with the uniform silhouette of a straight line shooting up towards the sky. His Heart can easily be seen atop his chest, suggesting that He wants to conquer for Himself all mankind by means of His Love.

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Prophecy of Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady appeared to Three Little Shepherds, in Fatima, on July 13, 1917, Her third apparition at Cova da Iria. It was in this apparition that She revealed the so-called Secret of Fatima to Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta. Later, in 1937, questioned by the Bishop, Lucia would reveal the content of the secret to him.

Our Lady said that it was essential to make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners and, amongst other prophecies, added that Russia would spread her errors throughout the world, would foment wars and persecutions against the Church.

This would soon come to pass in this Eastern European country, as well as in Mexico, where the Church would be ferociously persecuted by the country’s government.

Almada Portugal and the Shrine of Christ the King Portugal

See our article about  Our Lady of Fatima Portugal: What to see in one day. And why should you stay longer.

The Church experiences the beginning of Catholic Action, for there was a need to proclaim the social reign of Christ against the prepotency of the atheistic world. Christian nations should recognize Christ’s Kingship, getting their inspiration for legislating in God’s Law. See our list of top 15 Catholic shrines around the world. 

Facing this sociopolitical context of the 30’s, the Portuguese Bishops named three reasons for the construction of the Monument to Christ the King:

1 – The obligation and need for social atonement for the universal conspiracy against Christ.

2 – A great national obligation to show gratitude for being spared from the war. Unlike other countries, Portugal, due to a singular act of Divine Providence, was living in peace and progressing spiritually. Thus the Monument would be a profound and heartfelt act of thanksgiving to Christ the King.

3 – The need for national restoration.

History of the National Shrine of Christ the King

The inspiration is born in Brazil

The idea to build the Monument to Christ the King comes up in 1934, when the late Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, His Eminence Manuel Gonçalves Cerejeira, is visiting Brazil.

Traveling through Rio de Janeiro, he comes upon the impressing site of the Statue of Christ the Redeemer in Corcovado and immediately is born in his heart the desire to build something similar in front of Lisbon.

So, in 1936, the idea to build the Monument to Christ the King was made known to the Apostolate of Prayer, which welcomed it with enthusiasm. In order to be National, the Monument needed the approval and cooperation of all the Portuguese Bishops, which is finally obtained and officially divulged in the Bishops’ Joint Pastoral Letter for Lent of 1937.

Almada Portugal and the Shrine of Christ the King Portugal

All-Purpose Building in Almada

Planned by Architects Luiz Cunha and Domingos Ávila Gomes, this building, inaugurated in 1996, but whose construction in Almada only ended in 2007, is situated at the entrance of the Shrine, greeting the visitors.

It is a multipurpose building. In the subbasement we find two dormitories with capacity for 52 people. The basement has a multiuse hall, four dining-rooms which can serve up to 350 people, two kitchens, restrooms and bathrooms. On the ground floor we find the reception hall, an internet room and restrooms, as well as the residence of the Rector and the residence of the Religious Community.

On the first floor there are two multiuse galleries, the Rectory and the Administration Office. On the second floor there are two halls with capacity for 200 people, a chapel and a library. The third floor has two dormitories for 20 people, restrooms and meeting hall for 50 people. See more shrines and basilicas in Portugal. 

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Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

The Shrine of Christ the King

On May 17, 1959, the Shrine of Christ the King is inaugurated. On that day, 300 thousand people wanted to be present to celebrate Christ the King and Redeemer, in the Statue then built.

The preeminent Monument to Christ the King is the corner stone of this space, but the hectares of ground of the Shrine have today a lot more to offer to its pilgrims.

All-Purpose Building
Planned by Architects Luiz Cunha and Domingos Ávila Gomes, this building, inaugurated in 1996, but whose construction only ended in 2007, is situated at the entrance of the Shrine, greeting the visitors.

It is a multipurpose building. In the subbasement we find two dormitories with capacity for 52 people. The basement has a multiuse hall, four dining-rooms which can serve up to 350 people, two kitchens, restrooms and bathrooms. On the ground floor we find the reception hall, an internet room and restrooms, as well as the residence of the Rector and the residence of the Religious Community. On the first floor there are two multiuse galleries, the Rectory and the Administration Office. On the second floor there are two halls with capacity for 200 people, a chapel and a library. The third floor has two dormitories for 20 people, restrooms and meeting hall for 50 people.

Exterior Stations of the Cross
Along the view terrace facing Lisbon we find the 14 Stations of the Cross. On each Station is written a text of the Gospel related to that event, a meditation and a prayer. With this work, the Shrine aims at creating a more spiritual environment in the entire enveloping space.

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

The Monument Christ the King

  • Winter – 9h30 to 18h15 (last climb at 18h00)
  • Summer – week days: 9h30 to 18h30 (last climb at 18h15)
  • Week end: 9h30 to 19h00 (last climb at 18h45)

The Monument to Christ the King faces Lisbon; it was built on a hill overlooking the River Tagus; and rises up 113 meters above ground. It shows Christ with open arms as if wanting to embrace the City of Lisbon and the whole Country. The statue sits on a pedestal made of four pillars in the shape of an arch, which represent the four cardinal points. Since the arch is also the architectonic expression of the idea of triumph, they symbolize, then, the triumph of the universal kingship of Christ over the whole world, which is represented by the ring that circles the Monument.

The detail of open arms in the statue of Christ the King was needed so that Christ could be visible in the contours of His human figure and not confused with the uniform silhouette of a straight line shooting up towards the sky. His Heart can easily be seen atop his chest, suggesting that He wants to conquer for Himself all mankind by means of His Love.

Shrine of Christ the King, Almada, PortugalThe whole set is 113 meters high: the statue 28, the pedestal 82, the base 3. The base of the Monument measures 625 square meters.

On the main door of the Monument we find the Ten Commandments, in bronze, by Architect Sousa Araújo. In the interior, at the entrance hall, one can see two oil paintings which represent the Berlin Wall and the Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope John Paul II, in 1984.

In the interior of the four pillars of the Monument is the Chapel of Our Lady of Peace. And let us not forget the niche of the Angel of Portugal (or of Peace) giving Holy Communion to the Little Shepherds of Fatima, a sculpture of 2007 by Architect Sousa Araújo.

Other measurements – Monument:

  • Volume of reinforced concrete: 20,000 cubic meters
  • Over-all weight of the Monument: 40,000 tons
  • Depth of foundation: 14 meters
  • Minimum visibility: 20 km

Details of the Statue:

  • Head: 4.05 meters
  • Heart: 1.98 meters
  • Arm: 10 meters
  • Sleeve (height): 5 meters
  • Distance finger to finger: 28 meters

Within the four pillars of the Monument, symbol of the four cardinal points, there is situated the Chapel of Our Lady of Peace, planned by Architect António Lino. The statue of Our Lady is the work of Master Leopoldo de Almeida and is a replica of the statue that was donated to the Church of Saint Eugene, in Rome, during the Holy Year of 1950.

On May 17, 2006, this chapel was thoroughly remodeled, with the Sanctuary and the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament receiving major alterations. Architect João de Sousa Araújo collaborated in these alterations. The idea of removing the Statue of Our Lady from the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament and placing it in its present place belongs to Architect Luís Líbano Monteiro.

In the writings of Cardinal Cerejeira one finds the following words: “… the Shrine of Christ-King will tomorrow be the National Shrine, in the Capital of the Country, which will close the rainbow of faith, hope and peace that begins at Fatima and passes through the Vatican…” This text served of inspiration to Architect Sousa Araújo for a painting that was placed in the Sanctuary.
On the fresco we observe the third Part of the Secret of Fatima, where we can see Pope John Paul II shot next to a rough Cross. At his side, the thousands of martyrs of the XX Century. On each corner, an Angel pouring out, from vases of crystal, the blood of those martyrs over the entire world. At the center, we have the triptych allusive to the last apparition of Our Lady to the Little Shepherds, on October 13, 1917. On the upper part of this painting there is Christ blessing the world and enclosing it in His Heart.

On the part opposite the Sanctuary there are three painted stain glasses allusive to Most Holy Trinity, according to the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation) of St. John. In the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, the front of the Tabernacle is composed of two oil paintings, by the same Architect. The main one alludes to the Apocalypse of St. John, which is topped by a triangular painting allusive to the Holy Hour.

On the side doors we find two paintings allusive to the Revelations of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, in the XVII Century. In the central portion of the Chapel we find the 14 Stations of the Cross adapted to the situations of suffering of our time. At the entrance of the Chapel, on the right side, there is the model of the painting of the Sanctuary of the Basilica of Fatima. Above this painting there is the model of the painting of the Sanctuary of the Cathedral of Nampula, Mozambique, allusive to the glorification of Our Lady of Fatima by the peoples of Africa. On the left side we find the painting of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Aparecida, donated by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Brazil to the Shrine as a sign of recognition for the link between the Monument to Christ-King and Brazil, represented in the figure of her Patron.

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

The 25 de Abril Bridge links Lisbon and Almada, which are on opposite sides of the Tagus river. Lisbon airport also known as Lisbon Portela Airport, is the main international gateway to Portugal. Being one of the largest airports in Southern Europe, Lisbon Airport has two main runways and continues to expand.

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

Yearly:

  • Easter Sunday – Start of Novena of Mercy at 15h00
    Daily during First Week of Easter – Novena of Mercy at 15h00
  • Second Sunday of Easter – Conclusion of Novena of Mercy at 15h00
  • May 17 -Anniversary of Monument: Conference followed by solemn Holy Mass at 17h00 followed by get-together.
  • Day of Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – Solemn Mass at 17h00
  • Sunday of Christ-King – Solemn Mass at 17h00 followed by get-together

Daily:

  • Recitation of Rosary for Peace (led by the Oblate Sisters of the Divine Heart): daily at 16h30, except Mondays
  • Recitation of Chaplet of Mercy: Every Friday at 16h30

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament:

  • Every Tuesday to Friday, from 10h00 to 13h00 and from 14h00 to 17h00.
  • Every Saturdays, every Sundays and every holidays from 09h30 to 17h00.

Adoration is usually done in the Chapel of The Sacred Heart (Home Building). When the chapel is occupied by a religious service, adoration will be in the Chapel of Confidants of the Sacred Heart, on the lower floor to the terrace of the Monument. To participate, simply ring the bell of the administrative services that work in the building hosting the Sanctuary.

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

History of the National Shrine of Christ the King

1. The inspiration is born in Brazil

The idea to build the Monument to Christ the King comes up in 1934, when the late Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, His Eminence Manuel Gonçalves Cerejeira, is visiting Brazil. Traveling through Rio de Janeiro, he comes upon the impressing site of the Statue of Christ the Redeemer in Corcovado and immediately is born in his heart the desire to build something similar in front of Lisbon. So, in 1936, the idea to build the Monument to Christ the King was made known to the Apostolate of Prayer, which welcomed it with enthusiasm. In order to be National, the Monument needed the approval and cooperation of all the Portuguese Bishops, which is finally obtained and officially divulged in the Bishops’ Joint Pastoral Letter for Lent of 1937.

1.2 Sociopolitical Context

The social and economic conditions facing the western countries after World War I (1914-1918) called for the reconstruction of the different economies, which led to financial crises as well as crises of superproduction. The fall in value of the stocks in the New York Exchange caused a deep economic recession in 1929 – which lasted throughout the 30’s – and provoked social unrest, massive unemployment and consequent poverty.

All these conditions raised serious problems to the governments of the liberal democracy, the victors of World War I, whose policies were followed by most western countries. This, together with the incapacity shown to resolve the pending crisis, led to a growing wave of dissatisfaction amongst the populations and the consequent growth of opposition forces, mainly the radical leftist movements, modeled on the growing Marxist-Leninist Socialist Movement in Russia, and the right-wing movements in Italy and Germany, the two nations most penalized by the war. In Germany, unemployment reached 43%, but, after Hitler came to power in 1933, a new policy of rearmament – which would later lead to World War II – created employment and won the German people over to this new politician who would later be responsible for millions of deaths. Also in the Soviet Union there would occur numerous massacres, namely the extermination of well-to-do farmers, the so-called Kulaks.

In Portugal, the social conditions weren’t much better and the conflicts provoked by the I Republic set out a conservative reaction, which culminated with the coup of May 28, 1926, led by the Army and supported mostly by moderate Republicans, Monarchists and Catholics of different factions. The discontent was generalized and was even growing amongst the Portuguese middle class, which had been the mainstay of the Republic. Strikes were rampant and this situation was only overcome with the victory of General Óscar Carmona in the presidential elections of 1928 and with the appointment of António Oliveira Salazar to Finance Minister. Salazar was able to balance the national budget, which won for him great prestige. Later on, in 1932, Salazar is named Prime Minister and in 1933 a new Constitution is promulgated, giving birth to O Estado Novo (The New State), a political regime under the personal government of Salazar until 1968. The national political system turned then into a corporate regime, coming to be authoritarian, nationalist and colonialist.

Neighboring Spain was going through a bloody Civil War, which began in 1936, and was also threatened by the danger of the expansion of Atheistic Communism into the so-called countries of Christian tradition, something Our Lady have already predicted at Fatima, when she said that Russia would spread her errors throughout the world (see box).

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

Posted in Europe and Portugal