D. Jorge Ortiga calls for concrete attitudes to stop the ecological crisis

At Bom Jesus do Monte, the primate archbishop launched a call for concrete actions to stop “the unprecedented ecological crisis” that the world is experiencing.

“There is an unprecedented ecological crisis that we cannot ignore and that we have to face with concrete attitudes.” This was the appeal that the primate archbishop left yesterday at Bom Jesus do Monte.

D. Jorge Ortiga, who spoke in welcoming the participants in the workshop ‘The Arboreal Heritage of Historic Gardens’, promoted by the Portuguese Association of Historic Gardens, stressed that “the church is committed and committed to integral ecology”.

He recalled that in 2015 Pope Francis published the Encyclical Letter ‘Laudato Si’, a communication to the world about “the care of the common home”, the house that “hosts us, nature”.

A few days ago, the Vatican launched the ‘Laudato si’ Action Platform, which aims precisely to boost the application of the encyclical.

For D. Jorge Ortiga, the launch of this platform “is a call to action”, because “the considerations contained in the encyclical are beautiful”, but “it is necessary that they be realized”.
The archbishop stressed that nature suffers from the wounds caused by “predatory attitudes, most of them caused by interests”. These wounds, he said, “are felt by everyone in climatic changes, in contaminated soils, in water quality …”.

“In this paradisiacal place, Bom Jesus do Monte, I once again alert you to the concrete commitment so that an ecological approach appears in society that transforms the way of living today. If this is not the case, nature will continue to be a victim of predatory actions ”, said D. Jorge.

Also the president of the Confraria do Bom Jesus, Canon Mário Martins, highlighted the message of Pope Francis “that challenges all human beings to seek a more integrative vision, a more integral ecology, which makes us all responsible for promoting sustainability and care for this ‘common home’ that encompasses all of nature ”.

He stressed that in taking care of its spaces, in particular its gardens and the forest, the Confraria do Bom Jesus is also responding to the challenge launched by Pope Francis.

Varico Pereira, vice-president of the Confraria, specified that the works in the forest and gardens of Bom Jesus are a constant. “Right now, for example, we are working on cleaning and pruning monumental trees in the picnic area and in the forest,” he said, explaining that this intervention aims not only to ensure the safety of visitors, but also the health of species arboreal.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the workshop, Varico Pereira stressed that Bom Jesus do Monte “is in the country one of the spaces with the greatest diversity and richness in terms of tree species”. He mentioned that some are spontaneous and native species, like oaks over 300 years old that can be appreciated there, but there are also a considerable number of notable trees from other geographies, namely redwoods, magnolias, plantains or Himalayan strawberries, among others.

The Association of Historic Gardens of Portugal recently launched the Historic Gardens Route. Bom Jesus is part of the Baixo Minho Route.
Varico Pereira considers that the fact that Bom Jesus is part of the Association (the Confraria is one of the co-founders) and the recently disclosed Route “will contribute to attract new audiences” to Bom Jesus, especially “tourists with more affinity for tourism. nature”.

Tourism registers “progressive but slow recovery” in Bom Jesus do Monte.

With the lack of continuity on the way, tourists are returning to Bom Jesus do Monte, a World Heritage Site.
“The number of visitors has been increasing, which is positive. It is a gradual, slow recovery, but we believe it will accelerate when international borders are opened, ”said Varico Pereira, stressing that he is looking forward to the return of international tourists to the space classified as World Heritage, but“ always within security measures. determined by the Directorate-General for Health and the Government ”, he stressed.

At this time, it is mainly the Portuguese who have enjoyed Bom Jesus do Monte, but also Spaniards who have progressively increased their presence in Bom Jesus. Varico Pereira also revealed that on Thursday and Friday, there was a record and some influx of English tourists. The vice president of Confraria explained that the English visited the space brought by tour operators based in Porto, which denotes that the ‘Champions’ final also had some impact in Braga.

Varico Pereira also said that since the arrival of the pandemic, it is clear that visitors are looking more and more for the lake and forest area, when in the past they mainly walked around the area of heritage buildings.