Alenquer – “The Land of the Holy Ghost”

A document, dated September 18, 1279, confirms the existence of a Franciscan brotherhood and that it had established a harboring home, deserving of Royal protection.

The origins of the Feast of the Holy Ghost have historically been attributed to Queen Isabel, the queen of peace, with the “Miracle of the Roses”.  In the 2010 presentation of “Alenquer – “The Land of the Holy Ghost””, Alenquer mayor, Pedro Folgado, discussed the various documents and writings confirming the origin being Alenquer.

The town of Alenquer is located near Lisbon, the capital of Portugal.

From Alenquer, the imperial feasts in Honor of the Holy Ghost, rapidly spread to other villages of the queen.  The historian, Jaime Cortesão, recounts the splendor in which the feasts took place in Leiria, Porto de Mós, Óbidos, Torres Novas and Sintra. More or less altered by the locality dynamics, the Feasts of the Holy Spirit, have thus become a world heritage.

 Read the entire presentation by Pedro Folgado

 Why is The Feast of the Holy Ghost referred to as the Azorean Feast?

  1. Alenquer suffered political alterations, the buildings were abandoned and damaged during invasions, and the great traditions declined after four centuries, and totally eliminated for long periods. The Feast took place once in May of 1945. So it has not been well known in recent history. Major restorations in 2006 led to reinvigoration of the Feast, which re-started in 2007 and has continued to the present.  

  2. The tradition was carried to the Portuguese Territories and colonies via the Orders of Christ during the exploration era.  It took deep roots in the islands of the Azores, where it still is an integral part of the Azorean life.  And naturally, as the people from the Azores migrated to the various corners of world, they carried their traditions along, often with stronger fervor and faith.  The feasts are prevalent in New England states and California, where large communities of Azoreans are established.