Coming to Fatima and having the best stay:
Rosary and the Candlelight Procession at Fatima Portugal
At 21.30 local time – the Rosary in the Chapel of the Apparitions begins, from Easter to Advent and Saturdays from Advent to Lent time. See here online transmission of the chapel and attend the rosary online.
Followed by candlelight procession. It absolutely beautiful, when the rosary begins, the first priest lights a candle and lights the candles of other priests. They proceed it to all the pilgrims in the chapel.
And in 2, 3 minutes you see usually more than 2 to 3000 thousands candles burning. You can apply to recite the rosary, well, one decade and you can go in front of the alter to participate. We did it – yeeeey – it was amazing.
You can apply in the rectory; which is on the left of the museum that I previously mentioned. You go there say you want to apply for the recitation, and you will get a form, fill it up, just regular data, nothings special.
You have to be at least 15 minutes prior to the Rosary behind the Capelinha. They will give you the final order of the recital and also give you the candle with the cup holder. The feeling standing in front of 3000 crowd, you saying in your own language the first part of Hail Mary, and then the crowd the second part. I get the chills right now when I’m writing this! 🙂
After the rosary, they usually bring the statue of Our Lady and all the pilgrims go one small circle around the prayer area in silence or singing Ave, Ave Maria.
The Candlelight Procession at Fatima Portugal
After the reciting of the Rosary at 21.30, there is a procession with the statue of Our Lady. The candlelight procession takes place every evening until the beginning of Advent; from Advent to Easter, the procession is only on Saturday and on the 12th; on Thursday, until the beginning of Advent, the rosary is followed by the Eucharistic procession).
Again, volunteers from groups who are on a pilgrimage are carrying the statue from the sacristy through the Chapel of Apparitions and around the prayer area. In front of the procession is a halogens cross, then the priests and the group who carry Our Lady.
Behind them go the volunteers who have recited the rosary and then everybody else. During the weekdays, the procession goes a shorter path around the prayer area, and on Saturday the bigger round, right up to the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity.
Everybody sing during the procession the famous Ave Ave Maria. If you don not know the lyrics, just follow along when they sing Ave, Ave Ave Maria. Sometimes the procession is in silence.
The procession finishes, when the statue comes back to the Little Chapel of Apparitions which is the is the heart of the Shrine.
The Little Chapel of Apparitions
That was the site chosen by God to reveal, through Our Lady, His Message to the men of our time. There it was that Our Lady spoke to the Little Shepherds.
The construction of the Little Chapel was in response to the request of Our Lady: “I want you to build Me a Chapel here”.
It was the site of five apparitions of Our Lady (May 13, June 13, July 13, September 13 and October 13). It was built at the site of the apparitions in 1919, from April 28 thru June 15, and afterwards blessed. On October 13, 1921, Mass was celebrated there for the first time. During the night of March 5/6, 1922, it was blown up with dynamite.
It was rebuilt and inaugurated again on January 13, 1923. The construction of the first cover was done from December 13, 1922 thru October 13, 1924.
The panels covered with ex-votos that covered the walls of the Little Chapel were removed in 1964. Although it suffered, from time to time, small alterations, it retains the original features.
The current cover was inaugurated at the time of the visit of Pope Saint John Paul II on May 12/13, 1982. In 1988, the Marian Year, the ceiling was lined with pinewood from Northern Siberia, Russia. This wood was chosen for its characteristic lightness and durability. The pedestal, on top of which sits the Statue of Our Lady, marks the site where the little “azinheira”, over which Our Lady appeared, was. It was about one meter high. The first pilgrims picked it, branch by branch, until it disappeared.
We have also checked hotels near the sanctuary to give insights what to look for. We have taken in consideration the distance, price and guest reviews.