Notre Dame of Fatima
Our Lady of Fátima is the invocation attributed to the Virgin Mary after the Marian apparitions received by three little shepherds in Fátima, a village in the central region of Portugal, on six occasions during the year 1917. These apparitions, of which the message is about prayer and the last ends were initially the object of distrust, both on the part of civil authorities and religious authorities. In 1930, the recognition of these apparitions by the Catholic Church reinforced the popular success of what became a major world center of pilgrimage.
If the first chapel of the apparitions was built in 1919, by the inhabitants of the village, the first large church (Church of Our Lady of the Rosary) was started in 1928. Since then, the sanctuary has continued to expand (the last structure is the Church of the Holy Trinity completed in 2007). These Marian apparitions marked the Catholic Church: the consecration of the world (and of Russia) to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, carried out on several occasions by popes since 1942, were made, according to the Church, "in response at the request of the Virgin of Fatima”. Several popes have made pilgrimages to Fátima, and have made acts of devotion to the Virgin of Fátima.
The devotion to the Virgin of Fátima, very popular among the Portuguese population, has spread all over the world. A religious association – the World Apostolate of Fátima (recognized by the Vatican) – was founded to transmit and spread the spiritual message that the Virgin would have transmitted to the seers. It has several million members worldwide.
The feast of Our Lady of Fatima was fixed by the Holy See on May 13, the anniversary of the first apparition, May 13, 1917.
The Marian apparitions of Fátima took place, according to the assertions of the seers, in 1917. They would have been preceded by three apparitions of an angel in 1915 and 1916, who would have presented himself to the seers under the title of "the angel of Portugal" by inviting the children to pray and teaches them a prayer: the prayer of the angel of Fatima, The Marian apparitions on the site of Fátima are six in number and begin on May 13, 1917. "A lady all dressed in white” would therefore have appeared to three little shepherds (Francis and Jacinta Marto, and their cousin Lucia dos Santos) asking them to come back the following month to pray. From month to month, the shepherds affirm that the apparition is repeated, and they are accompanied by an increasingly numerous crowd until the apparition of October 13, 1917 when approximately seventy thousand believers and curious people throng to see the "miracle" which would have been promised by the Virgin. It would then have occurred in the sky a luminous phenomenon subsequently called "the miracle of the sun" or the "dance of the sun". Among the observers, there would have been academics and non-believers. People present at the events speak of an "unexplainable" phenomenon. Many, however, have disputed the authenticity of the phenomenon described by witnesses.
The Bishop of Leiria, Msgr. José Alves Correia da Silva, after conducting a canonical investigation officially recognizes the Marian apparitions in 1930, and approves the devotion to Our Lady of Fátima. François and Jacinthe Marto, suffering from the Spanish flu, died very quickly (in 1919 and 1920). They were beatified on May 13, 2000 by Pope John Paul II. Lucie dos Santos entered the novitiate of the Dorothée sisters, then the Carmel of Coimbra died in 2005. Her process for beatification is in progress. Jacinta and Francis are canonized by Pope Francis on May 13, 2017 during his trip to Fátima for the centenary of the Marian apparitions of Fátima.
Secrets of Fatima
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