When you look for something about Fatima Portugal, you will quickly have the Our Lady of Fatima statue in front of you.
The image, figurine or Our lady of Fatima statue has become a symbol for this shrine and the whole history, (like the water for Lourdes sanctuary – here we wrote about it how to get it the quickest and the cheapest way) starting from the Marian Apparitions in 1917.
Here are quick history facts for you:
On 13. May, 1917, three children were pasturing their little flock in the Cova the Iria, parish of Fatima, They were called, Lucia de Jesus, and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto.
About Midday, after praying the Rosary, they saw a brilliant light and thinking it to be lightning, they decided to go home. But as they went down the slope another flash lit up the place and they saw on the top of the Holmoak a Lady more brilliant than the sun from whose hands hung a white rosary.
The Lady told the three shepherds that it was necessary to pray much and she invited them to return to the Cova de Iria during five consecutive months on the 13th day of that hour.
Our Lady of Fatima statue in every corner of the Shrine
First, there is the original in the Capelinha or the Chapel of apparitions, more on that later.
Then in the old Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima with the statue besides the altar.
From spring till autumn there is a candlelight procession with the statue after 21.30 rosary prayer.
Volunteers or groups from parishes, who happen to be that day present there, often carry it around the outside prayer area of the sanctuary.
In addition, of course every shop you see in Fatima has a certain selection of our lady of Fatima statues. From miniature to copies of the original versions. The price goes form couple of euros up to 2.900 €.
Here is a couple of examples; we recommend the ones with the glass eyes. Also just the wooden ones without the colour are nice. Because it is difficult to find those which resemble the original statue. We choose the best ones here for you.
Back to the Capelinha. For us was the best time early in the morning around 5.00 am when the Capelinha was empty and you could pray in front of the statue all by yourself. Amazing experience; here is the online transmission from the chapel.
The streaming here shows only the area around the altar, statue and the small chapel that serves as the sacristy. Around the area is a small corridor where pilgrims often go on their knees around with rosaries in their hands.
Our Lady of Fatima statue in danger
Now, the statue was couple of times also in serious danger. Couple of years after the apparitions, one crazy guy from the village blew the original Capelinha up, because in the early days, during the night, the statue was put in the Capelinha. He wanted to destroy the statue.
But God looked over the statue. Because just that night, a women who was responsible to put it back to the chapel, took it back to her home, because the statue was dirty. And she wanted to clean it up. And the statue was saved. It is needless to say that everybody took it as sign.
And just this year in 2016, one guy, who had psychological problems, attacked the chapel and the statue with a bat. However, he couldn’t damage the statue itself because it is protected with a thick glass box. However, you can still see the damages here. Because they haven’t replaces the glass box.
Our Lady of Fatima statue – Historical facts
Here are also some historic facts about the lady Fatima statue from the official resources of Sanctuary of Fatima.
The Image of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima
The sculpture of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima venerated in the Chapel of the Apparitions was offered in 1920 by Gilberto Fernandes dos Santos, from Torres Novas, blessed on May 13, of that year, in the Parish Church of Fatima, and brought to the Chapel one month later. It was solemnly crowned on the May 13, 1946 by Cardinal Aloisi Masella, pontifical legate.
The precious crown, that the image bears only on the days of great pilgrimages, was offered by the women of Portugal, on October 13, 1942. This is made of gold, weighs 1,2 kilograms and contains 313 pearls and 2679 precious stones.
It’s a unique example and of high artistic and estimated value. In 1989, the bullet extracted from the body of John Paul II after the attack in Rome on May 13, 1981, and offered by him to the Shrine on March 26, 1984, was incrusted to the crown.
A work of José Ferreira Thedim, the sculpture is made of wood (cedarwood from Brazil) and measures 1,04 meters. It was restored by the author in 1951 and later on retouched several times.
Here is also one information that pilgrims and visitors do not know! Beneath the statue in the chapel of apparition, there is a small compartment, and every day you can give the Fatima official who is behind the chapel your intentions and prayers. In addition, it is there for all the rosaries and masses during that day.
Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima
The genesis of this journey brings us back to 1945, shortly after the end of the Second World War, when a parish priest from Berlin suggested that one Statue of Our Lady of Fatima should travel all the capitals and Episcopal cities of Europe, to the border with Russia.
A representative of Luxemburg took up the idea in April 1946, in the International Council of Women’s Catholic Youth, and in the following year, in the exact day of the coronation, the first travel began.
After more than half a century of pilgrimage, in which the Statue visited 64 countries of various continents, some of them more than once, the Rectory of the Shrine of Fatima decided that the Statue shouldn’t leave the Shrine, unless if due to extraordinary circumstances.
In May 2000, the Statue was placed in the exhibition «Fatima Light and Peace», where it was venerated by tens of thousands of visitors. After three years, on the 8th of December 2003, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the Statue was enthroned in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima, and was placed on a column next to the main altar.
The Statue left again on the 12th of May 2004, firstly for a visit to the contemplative religious communities in Portugal, which ran until the 2nd of February 2015, and secondly to all the Portuguese Dioceses, from 13th of May 2015 to the 13th of May 2016. The purpose of these visits was to engage the contemplative communities and the Portuguese Dioceses in the celebration of the Centennial of the Apparitions of Fatima.
In the meantime, in order to face numerous requests from all over the world, there were made many replicas of the Pilgrim Statue, a total of thirteen.
Astonishing reports of the presence of the Pilgrim Statue arrive from everywhere, from crowds that rushed to see it, reports of unprecedented participations on various celebrations, of a large number of penitents who have approached the sacrament of Reconciliation, reports of the affluence of all kinds of people, children, youth, adults and the elderly, from different social contexts and even different religious denominations, in conclusion, reports of significant pastoral fruits and abundant graces achieved.
Well everybody has its own story with the statue when he or she comes to this Shine. We invite you to share you own in the comments section.
Let us remain close in the same prayer!
May the Lord bless you abundantly.