Peneda Sanctuary

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Peneda Sanctuary

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Peneda was built in the 19th century and is accessible through the so-called stairway of virtues, which houses twenty small chapels depicting scenes from the life of Christ.


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The Legend of Peneda

Legend has it that Our Lady of Peneda revealed herself to a shepherdess in the form of a dove, asking that a sanctuary be built in the location where she appeared. No one believed the girl, so a few days later, Our Lady appeared again, this time in the form she is worshipped in today, asking that she go to Roussas to fetch a woman named DomingasGregório, who had long been bedridden. In the presence of Our Lady, the sick woman was cured almost immediately, which led the villagers to build a small chapel to honour and worship her.

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According to another legend, a terrible, man- and animal-eating lizard lived on one of the pilgrimage paths, close to the Lamas de Mouro flatlands. One day, it attacked a spinster from Meadinha. Terrified, the woman grabbed the distaff she carried around her waist and beat the lizard vigorously. The reptile immediately transformed into stone, a feat that the villagers attributed to Our Lady. Today, the reptile-shaped stone still sits at the so-called Portela do Lagarto ("Lizard's Gate"), and the crag that rises behind the Sanctuary is called Fraga da Meadinha ("Crag of Meadinha").

In front of the Sanctuary is the stairway of virtues, adorned with statues representing Faith, Hope, Charity and Glory.

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