Confraria do Bom Jesus do Monte is developing new projects so that visitors can deepen their knowledge of the resort. At the forge are a Biblical Garden, a guide on fauna and flora and a network of viewpoints.
Bom Jesus do Monte will soon make available to its visitors “a deepening of knowledge” about the interpretation of the nature of Bom Jesus (flora and fauna), announced yesterday the new president of the Confraria do Bom Jesus, Canon Mário Martins.
A Biblical Garden (space dedicated to the plants and trees that appear mentioned in the Bible), a guide to the fauna and flora of Bom Jesus and a network of viewpoints are the projects that are under development to allow visitors to get to know this World Heritage site better.
The announcement was made yesterday, during a symbolic ceremony with which the Brotherhood marked World Tree Day.
The Confraria invited the primate archbishop, D. Jorge Ortiga, to plant a tree, as well as the journalists present in the initiative.
Two cork oaks and five oaks were planted, native species that will further enrich the forest of Bom Jesus.
‘Correio do Minho’ also symbolically planted an oak tree, which will grow by the lake, overlooking the Carvalho and Gerês mountains.
Canon Mário Martins said that between 2019 and 2020, in this resort, more than a thousand trees were planted, mostly of native species, specifically oaks, cork oaks, holly trees, arbutus trees, laurels, among others. More than four thousand shrubs were also planted.
The president of the Confraria took the opportunity to warn of the risks that the Bom Jesus forest runs due to infestation by invasive species, especially Australians, mimosa.
It is a risk that exists “mainly due to the lack of control and cleanliness of the areas adjacent to our forest”, he warned, revealing that “between 2019 and 2020, in this forest alone, more than four thousand specimens of invasive species were removed”.
Canon Mário Martins also guaranteed that the Confraria will guide its action “for a sustainable action” in the management of this resort: “It is our intention that visitors to Bom Jesus do not just concentrate next to the churchyard of the Basilica, but also get to know these and other places, places of rare and intoxicating beauty, capable of holding the eye and the heart of those who visit and contemplate them. To do this, we will create signage, support infrastructures (such as these bathrooms properly re-qualified for use by those who visit us) and a network of viewpoints within Bom Jesus. This is why we wanted to bring you to this space, in addition to knowing this privileged view over Serra dos Carvalhos and Serra do Gerês ”, he said.
The environmental dimension is thus assumed as one of the priorities of the Confraria, which embraces the mission of sensitizing visitors to Bom Jesus to “a more ecological education and spirituality”.
D. Jorge Ortiga praised the ecological concern assumed by the renewed Confraria, noting that when Pope Francis speaks of the crisis we are living in, he also speaks of the environmental crisis. “There are not two, but only one crisis, a socio-environmental crisis”, said the archbishop, praising the fact that environmental concerns are taken as a priority by government officials, namely the European Union with Green Deal. In the national case, he pointed out that the PRR also has environmental sustainability issues as one of the pillars.
The archbishop also thanked the dedication of those who daily take care of the resort and the journalists who help to disseminate this heritage that the church makes available to everyone.