|Fatima Our Lady of the Rosary appeared in the village called Fatima. Why was the village called Fatima ? During the |
reconquest of Portugal from the Arabs, one of the knights of Alphonse Henry, made some Arab prisoners and among
them was an Arab girl called Fatima. The knight fell in love with her and married her. The girl died a few years after
marriage and was buried in the place that took the name Fatima afterwards.
Fatima, the village Is in the centre of Portugal, on the plateau of the small Serra D'Aire Mountain. The soil is rocky and
poor, it hardly allows farming. There are olive trees and Holm-oak trees. The peasants build walls with the soil stone, to
divide the small plots of land.
The shepherds LUCÍA DE JESUS: She was born on the 22nd of March 1907. The more important shepherdess in the
apparitions, she was 10 years old during the Virgin apparitions. She is clever and intelligent. Her family was very poor,
she had to leave school very soon to work as shepherdess. She survived her two cousins, Jacinta and Francisco. After
having been a nun of Santa Dorotea, she changed for a Carmelita nun, in 1948, to have more seclusion in Saint Theresa's
convent, in Coimbra, where she still lives and seldom comes out. She came to Fátima 5 times: May 13 1967 to speak with
Pope Paul VI, in 1980 to see an exhibition of the apparitions, and in 1982, 91, 2000 she came to speak to John Paul II.
FRANCISCO MARTO: He was born in June 11th, 1908. He was 8-9 years old during the Virgin's apparitions. He died
of Spanish flu* when he was 10 years old, on April 4th 1919, in his parents' house in Aljustrel. (* Spanish flu is a kind of
pneumonia that has made from 20 to 40 millions victims in 1918 and 1919 and that it is still a not well-known illness It
was originated by the 1st World War).
|JACINTA MARTO: She was born on March 10th 1910. She was 7 years old during the Virgin apparitions. She also died of the same illness when she |
was 9 years old, on February 20th, 1920 in Estefanía's Hospital in Lisbon. In August 1918, on 15th, the Ascension Day, the Virgin appeared to her, in
the parish church, to prepare her for the ascent to the sky that was about to happen. She was visited several times by the Virgin who never abandoned her.
The Angel apparitions In 1916 (between April and October), an angel appeared 3 times to the three very poor shepherds, Lucia and her cousins,
Francisco and Jacinta. The 1st time, in the spring, he said: don?t be afraid. I am the angel of peace. Pray with me." The second time he spoke of peace for
Portugal and all the nations. In the last time, in October, he brought a chalice and holy bread. Drops of blood were falling from the holy bread to the
chalice. He administered the communion to Lucia and made Jacinta and Francisco drink from the chalice. Then he told them that the Virgin had wishes of
mercy for them and that they should get ready for the Virgin apparitions the following year and to keep secret of the apparitions.
The apparitions of Our Lady In all the apparitions:
-She appeared at noon (high noon, 12 o'clock sharp). -The apparitions took fifteen minutes, she came and left towards the sky, disappearing in the
direction of where she came from: it was from the east (because she comes from Christ, from the rising light).
-The Virgin, speaking of peace, asked that everyone should pray the rosary everyday, for the sins and offences against the Immaculate heart of Mary and
should do the communion in the first Saturdays of every month. Crowds of people that were becoming larger every time Our Lady appeared, have seen
the lightning and heard the thunders that preceded the apparitions, and saw a white cloud above the Holm-oak tree, the light of the sun decreasing and felt
a lowering temperature. -Lucia has seen, listened and spoke to the Virgin. Jacinta has seen and listened. Francisco only saw the apparitions.
-On the 13th of May of 1917, on Sunday, at high noon (twelve sharp), after the mass, being the shepherds with their flocks in Cova-da-Iria, they got
frightened by a very strong storm that arrived suddenly. They gathered the sheep and they were about to leave, when a strong lightning behind an
Holm-oak tree revealed the Virgin, a lady of great beauty and very shining, more radiant and shining that the sun, looking like she was about 18 years old.
She told them to not be afraid, to pray the rosary every day for peace in the world and the end of the first world war; to return to that place at the same
hour (12) on the 13th of every month till October and in October she would tell who she was and what she wanted. She also told them to keep secret
about the apparitions. But Jacinta, not able to hide her enthusiasm, told her mother; the news ran to the whole village.
-on the 13th of June, 1360 people were nearby, trying to see the apparitions. They never saw anything.
-on the 13th of July there were already 5000 people, kneeling and waiting. In this apparition, as the shepherds were considered liars, because people
didn't see any apparitions, Lucia asked the Virgin to make a miracle that would prove people that they didn't lie. The Virgin promised 3 things: to make a
miracle, the conversion of Russia, and she also promised Lucia that she would appear to her after 1917. Indeed she appeared in Pontevedra (Spain) in
December 10th of 1925 (she than said that she would save all those who pray the rosary and meditate with the Virgin, for 15 minutes, in the mysteries of
the rosary on the first Saturday of every 5 months in a row and confess their sins). She also appeared again in Tuy (Spain) in June 13th of 1929. Lucia
was in Spain, taking refuge from the anti religious Government and until the Vatican considered the apparitions worth of praise.
-During the apparitions, in 1917, the government (the new Republic) was against the church. It was a troubled period of the Portuguese history, with
plenty of republican revolutions and government changes that followed the fall of the monarchy (in 16 years, from 1910 to 1926, Portugal had more than
40 different governments). And as the news of the apparitions - that were a message of peace in the middle of the 1ª war in which Portugal was involved,
sending 10.000 soldiers to Flanders in France - went against the government politics which was anti religious, and as the news of the apparitions were
arousing the public opinion, the shepherds, already threatened several times to deny the apparitions, have been made prisoners by the mayor of Fatima in
August the 13th, for 3 days, for an hearing. The Virgin appeared to them after they were released, on the 19th, in Valinhos, 3 miles away from the original
-on the 13th of September, as the shepherds upheld their statements, there were already about 20.000 people to see the apparitions; they have not seen
Her. But they have seen a shining sphere descending from the sky and loosing rose petals and flakes of snow that disappeared before touching to the
ground. Some sick persons were cured at Lucia?s request.
-on the 13th of October, there were several press reporters and a crowd of 70.000 people were close to the place (some had requested the children to ask
the Virgin several miracles like cures of illnesses, the end of the 1ª war, the return of the Portuguese soldiers that were there, etc). Foreigners came from
different countries as this story was told abroad. The Virgin appeared only to the shepherds but the crowd saw what was then called "the miracle of the
sun": it was raining a lot and suddenly the dark sky opened up to reveal the sun that seemed to change shape and size several times (the "dance of the
sun") and it seemed to approach the earth. They heard metallic buzzes. They saw flying spheres. From the direction of the sun, a star came down to the
holm-oak tree. All the wet of the rain dried out instantly. In the end, after talking to the Virgin, Lucia tells the crowd: Look at the sun!. People looked at
the sun once again without hurting the eyes and they have seen the sun rotating fast and lights of all colours going in every direction. This repeated twice
and at the third time the sun seemed to disintegrate. In the middle of the sun appeared the Holy Family. After the usual message of peace (that people
should stop sinning), she said three secrets, like she had promised, (the first and the second have been revealed when Lucia was in the Dorotea convent in
Spain, in 1941):
1-the first war would finish but if people didn't stop offending God, another worse one would come in the period of Pious XI. When you'll see the sky lit
by an unknown light, you will know that it is the sign of God to punish the world for their crimes.
2-That there would be a revolution in Russia and Russia would become powerful and that it would extend its errors through the world, sponsoring wars
and persecutions against the church; everyone should have faith to withstand the advance of communism and evil (showing the vision of hell, a lot of fire
that seemed to be under the earth where demons and souls were put in human forms burning among screams and wailings (laments) of pain. The demons
were distinguished by having an unknown and strange form of black and transparent animals. Then she said: "you have seen hell, where the souls of the
sinners go; to save them, God wants them to adore my Immaculate Heart", because if my advice is not followed, Russia will extend its errors through the
world, causing wars and persecutions against the church, the Sacred Father will suffer a lot, several nations will disappear. But, in the end, my Immaculate
Heart will triumph and after the conversion of Russia, the world will enter a period of peace. In 1917, 12 days after the apparitions, there was the
revolution in the Russian empire (the Bolshevik revolution began, it finished the Russian empire and the Soviet empire would begin in 1922).
3-The Pope revealed partially the third secret on his visit to Fátima on the 13th of May of 2000, when he came to beatify the shepherds already dead. It
has to do with the fight of atheists against the church, like it was proven in the attempt to the Pope on the 13th of May of 1981. The Turk who tried to
kill the Pope was a professional killer. When the Pope visited him (he went to visit him in prison), the Turk admitted that it seemed to be a miracle that
the Pope had survived. He said that, at the distance that he had shot (3 meters?) and in the direction the bullet went, the Pope should be dead. Doctors
considered his survival a miracle. Lucia wrote about the 3rd secret: (after Our Lady said the two secrets, we have seen an angel a little farther up with an
incandescent sword on the left hand that seemed to set the world on fire. But the flames of the sword went out with the shine coming from the Virgin's
right hand, pointed in its direction. The angel, with the right hand pointed toward the earth, said: penance, penance, penance. And we saw, in a immense
light, a Bishop dressed in white (he looked like the Pope). Several Bishops, priests, religious and nuns going up a mountain, at the top of which there was
a big cross. The Pope, before arriving there, crossed a city in ruins and he went praying for the dead bodies that he found on the road. Arriving to the top
of the mountain he was killed by soldiers who shot him several times and likewise were also shot religious people and several people of several social
classes. Under each arm of the cross there were two angels, each one with a glass irrigator picking up the blood of the martyrs and with it they watered the
souls that approached God.
After the apparitions At the beginning the Church kept out from this occurrences and the Catholic press even denied the miracles. The Church decided
to examine the miracles, and in 1922 the canonical exam began.
-in 1929, Pope Pius XI admitted the cult to Our Lady of Fátima as a legal one.
-on the 13th of October of 1930, Leiria's bishop (buried in the Basilica) declared the apparitions as worth of praise. -in 1931 there was a procession of
-in 1942, during the 2ª war (1939-45) Pope Pio XII, at the request of Lucia, spoke on the radio in Portuguese, consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart
-on the 13th of May of 1946, the same Pope sent a cardinal to crown the statue of the Virgin as Queen of Peace in the World, with 700.000 people
watching (monument to the Pope in the square). The crown was made with the contributions (charities) from faithful people; it weights 1 kilo and two
hundred grams and is made with 313 pearls and 2679 precious stones.
-When the 2nd world war was over, from 1947 to 1949 the statue travelled the whole world as ?Queen of Peace in the World. The 13th of October of
1951, the end of the Holy year, was celebrated in Fátima: 1 million people, 3 cardinals, 50 bishops and archbishops came to Fatima. On the 13th of May
of 1967, 50 years after the apparitions, Pope Paul VI came to Fatima as a pilgrim (the 1st Pope to come to Fatima), to speak to more than 2 million
pilgrims from all continents and to celebrate the Fiftieth anniversary of the Apparitions (monument to the Pope in the square).
-On the 13th of May of 1981, Pope John Paul II suffered an attempt to his life. A Turk wanted to kill him. The bullet (the projectile) that was pulled out
from his body is in Fátima. The Pope came to Portugal three times after that, always on the 13th of May, to thanks the Virgin's help which saved him.
First on the 12th and 13th of May of 1982 making the consecration of the World to Mary's Immaculate Heart. Then he came in 1991, ten years after the
-1987-88 has been decreed by the Vatican as the Marian year, homage to the 70 years of the apparitions of Fátima.
-On the 13th of May of 1995, the duke of Braganza, D. Duarte, the gentleman who was supposed to be the king of Portugal in case we had monarchy in
Portugal, married in the Hieronymites Monastery.
-On February 13th of 2005, Lucia died.
The Chapel In the last apparition, the Virgin asked the shepherds that a chapel should be built on the place of the apparitions. The chapel was made but
dynamited 4 years after. The chapel that exists now is not the original one. The statue of the Virgin is made at her likeness, according to Lucia's
description. It is made in cedar wood of Brazil. It is in the place of the Holm-oak tree that no longer exists, because people have cut pieces of the tree as
souvenirs and it disappeared. Close by, a source of water developed. There's a tap near the monument to Jesus. To the left side of the chapel, in the
exterior, there is a stone column that points out the place where there the Holm oak tree was before. But, there is a tree from the time of the apparitions,
under which the shepherds waited the Virgin.
The Basilica was made between 1928 and 53 (it took a lot of time because the church took to long in all that referred to Fátima) to harbour the tombs of
Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco. It has a 65 meters high tower, at the top of which there is a 7 tons crown and the cross of Christ made of glass, lit by night.
Confessions are made here (there are priests in several languages).
The square was made in 1949, twice bigger than S. Peter square in the Vatican, in Rome. It has hospitals made to put up sick people for free.
The pilgrims Every year there are pilgrimages from the 13th of May to the 13th of October. The first and the last are the most important ones. Pilgrims
come from several parts of Portugal, sometimes walking from many miles away, coming mostly from the north of Portugal, where there are most of the
Catholic cultists, walking and making the last meters on their knees, on the marble way that goes to the chapel, some carrying candles. The roads that go
to Fátima have crossings (via cruces: see end), to show pilgrims they go on the good road. During the colonial war many have come to ask spiritual help
from the Virgin. Many also came from several countries after the 1st War and also during and after the 2nd War. Pilgrims still come from several countries
and for that reason they call Fatima the altar of the world. Fátima is known all over the world. In the United States there is the blue army (or there was)
against communism that has as patron the Virgin of Fátima. The same happens to the Catholics in Russia: they have their office in Fátima. Congregations
of several countries have made here convents, seminars and housings for pilgrims, etc.
The procession of candles Very spectacular: made on 12th by night and 13th by night, from May to October (presently is made every important days,
when there is a lot of people). The most important are the first and the last ones. It is like a sea of flames with songs and religious hymns. The candle is
the symbol of man?s immortality in church matters. The statue of the Virgin comes out from the Hospital's chapel to the sanctuary, followed by the
pilgrims that go singing. At noon of the 13th the mass of the sick people begins. On request of the shepherds, they have a special attendance in Fátima
and they go in front of the procession. They say that there were miracles of cures in the moment of the sick people blessing. In Fátima one prays for
spiritual help, mainly, the spiritual protection of Our Lady. But many also come to ask physical help to the Virgin of Fátima.
Aljustrel 3 Km away from the sanctuary. There is the house of Marto family, where Jacinta and Francisco were born. Lucía's house is close by, next to
the well where the angel appeared for the second time. In the Ethnographical Regional Centre, next to Lucía's house, are a lot of articles like letters of
Lucia, furniture of the shepherds houses, pictures connected with the miracles, clothes and several instruments.
Valinhos Close by is also Valinhos, where the Virgin appeared for the fourth time.
Loca do Cabeço A little further up is Loca do Cabeço, where the angel appeared for the first and third times.
Via Crucis * and the Chapel of Saint Steve 14 small chapels in memory of Jesus' passion and a bigger one dedicated to Saint Steve, bought by
Hungarian Catholic refugees.
*Via cruces: series of 14 cross in front of which meditations are made during the Holy Week in memory of Christ's steps walking towards the Calvary.