To someone who has never heard of the Church’s approval of the apparitions at Fatima, Portugal, the events that took place may seem unbelievable. “Yet, the apparitions – and their culmination with the Miracle of the Sun was witnessed by more than 70,000 and testified by even secular journalists. Not only that, but events predicted at Fatima did come to pass in the years after the visions.”
Trying to figure out how to get to Fatima. We had reserved a rental car, but upon arriving at the rental car location, we found out that we could not rent it because none of us had a credit card. Then we looked up some bus schedules to see if that was a possibility. In the end, we ended up renting a car from a different company who said that it was ok that we didn't have a credit card.
Our car was a 'Fiat' - very appropriate! When the angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and told her that she would become the Mother of God, her response (translated into Latin) was "Fiat," which means "Let it be done unto me."
Jen and her scapular. On one side of the scapular there is a picture of Jesus, and on the other side there is a picture of Mary.
Our driver, Marek, getting focused and ready for the trip.
We felt really safe with Marek driving. Here he is sleeping at the wheel! :-)
Fatima straight ahead!
We were heading into some pretty dark storm clouds! It was raining very hard as we got closer to Fatima, and we were thinking, "Uh oh. This might not be too fun to walk around outside in this weather."
It stopped raining just as we arrived which was a nice surprise! :-) This is a picture of Jen and me with Pope Pius XII. There are statues of all of the popes who took pilgrimages to Fatima. Pope Pius XII was the pope during WWII, and he was a courageous defender of the Jews and a powerful voice against the evils of Nazi Germany.
The Church of the Holy Trinity
Jen and Katka
Inside the Church of the Holy Trinity
If you look at the front of the altar, you will see a rectangle that looks lit up. There are words (I believe it's Latin) and a piece of something that I could not identify. When I went home and translated the words, it said that it was a small piece of stone from the grave of St. Peter!
They were trying to take a picture like the 3 children of Fatima - Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta.
Jen standing in front of the Church of the Holy Trinity with the Basilica in the distance
Church of the Holy Trinity
Jen standing in the middle of the Sanctuary of Fatima. In the direction that Jen is facing is the Church of the Holy Trinity. Behind her (in the direction that I, the photographer, am facing) is the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. To the left of the picture is the Chapel of the Apparitions, the place where Mary actually appeared to the children on several occasions.
The Chapel of Apparitions. It's not the best picture, but if you look at the statue of Mary, you will see that it's set on top of a white pillar. The pillar marks the exact place where Mary appeared to the 3 children in 1917.
Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. The long blue sign that stretches out in front of the basilica says: "Most Holy Trinity, I adore you profoundly." These were some of the words that the angel taught the children to pray.
Inside the basilica
All of the paintings and stained glass windows in this basilica depict events from the Marian apparitions in Fatima.
The bodies of the 3 children (Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta) are buried in the basilica. Here are the tombs of the two girls. Francisco is buried on the other side of the church. All 3 children have been beatified.
A picture taken from the steps of the basilica showing the whole sanctuary of Fatima. This is what was known as the Cova da Iria before the apparitions. This is where Mary appeared, and this is where the 70,000 people gathered to witness the Miracle of the Sun.
A statue depicting the Sacred Heart of Jesus
An assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II occurred on May 13, 1981, as Mary had predicted. After he had recovered, Pope John Paul II had the bullet sent to Fatima. The Bishop of Fatima placed the bullet inside the crown of the statue of our Lady of Fatima where it remains today.