Day of Portugal, Camões and the Portuguese Communities

JUNE 10, 2019

Message from the Grand Master

More than celebrating a date full of symbolism and evocation for our historical future, imbued with exemplary courage, irreducible secular perseverance and unwavering expectation, we must be honored today, the collective memory of a people and an ancient nation, reaffirming the opportunity for a profound reflection on our identity process (what we were, what we are, what will we be?) along side the constantly reaffirmed desire to overcome all the obstacles that shape the crisis of everyday life and globalization.

The awareness of our history and the mythical “stories” – legendary that permeate it, configuring decisive elements of what we call “portugality”, is finally a very potent and decisive engine for ecumenical action and mission, valid, after all, for other spaces and cultures that exceed our geographical limits. All this cyclically renewed through the epochs transcending the mere geographical and factual territoriality, transports us to a time – another space, cohabited by gods and demons, experienced in the deepest human imaginary that we designate as “Portuguese soul”.

We know that there is no “the Bojador without experience of pain”, which allows us, moreover, to fully savor the victory (especially when difficult and dangerous) when we reach the goal. But all this wealth of heritage is condensed into the symbols that in the Portuguese Rite of the Grand Sovereign Lodge of Portugal, whose practice and pedagogy expresses the cyclical updating of the original mythical narratives, where the beginning of our identity process is based. Portuguese rite, which does not crystallize in a static perspective because it embodies a broad dynamic debate that is widely shared, facing the dysfunctional processes of the present time in order to provide a contribution to renewing it or encouraging the humanistic values that we always profile and disseminate.

We are part of many millions who speak the Portuguese language, which, being undoubtedly already remarkable, but more in addition, the fact that the apprehension of the world, if done in this way, “in the Portuguese way”, within a matrix (matter/mater/mother), in which stands out an eternal feminine principle (V. Dalila Pereira da Costa, Durand, Agostinho da Silva and others), in the primordial fabric of our intellectual and humanistic development, as a collectivity. To the insigniating poet Luís de Camões, as an unquenchable flame of an art that will last for eternity, it is worth honoring him, as well as to a Portuguese language, of which he was an unexceeded master, structuring vehicle of this thought and action, which on this day finds a collective celebration of a Portugal that intends to project itself into a harmonious modernity shared by all.

João Pestana Dias
Grand Master of the Grand Sovereign Lodge of Portugal