Nestled in the captivating landscapes of Portugal, lies the quaint village of Fatima—a place where the extraordinary unfolded, etching its mark on the lives of three young shepherds and resonating across the annals of contemporary spirituality. Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta, mere children aged nine, eight, and six, were blessed witnesses to divine occurrences from 1916 to 1917, events that would ripple through time, inspiring millions worldwide.


The Angelic Cycle: Divine Encounters in 1916

Between April and October of 1916, the trio encountered celestial marvels thrice, as an angelic presence graced them in the form of a radiant young boy, glowing like the sun and as pure as freshly fallen snow. This emissary of peace revealed himself as the Angel of Peace, beckoning the children to unite in prayer to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Lucia's memoirs, treasured accounts of these encounters, immortalize what she termed the "Angelic Cycle," a transcendent moment of grace and divine communion.

During these ethereal encounters, the Angel imparted profound spiritual teachings, urging the children to fervently pray and selflessly offer sacrifices for the conversion of sinners and the restoration of global peace. This initial celestial communion laid the foundation for subsequent apparitions, marking the inception of an extraordinary spiritual odyssey for Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta.


The Marian Cycle: Divine Encounters of 1917

On the auspicious day of May 13, 1917, following their customary Mass attendance in Fatima, the three young shepherds led their flock to pasture under the radiant Portuguese sun. As they reached the sprawling expanse of Cova da Iria, a sudden luminosity enveloped them, initially mistaken for an impending storm. However, a new brilliance captivated their senses, revealing a resplendent lady cloaked in dazzling white, radiant with celestial light.

This ethereal figure, none other than the Virgin Mary, instructed the children to return to the same spot on the 13th of each ensuing month for six consecutive months, withholding the purpose of their rendezvous. She implored them to consecrate themselves to God, embracing suffering as reparation for sins and petitioning for the conversion of sinners. With unwavering faith, Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta accepted, assured by the Lady that divine grace would assuage their tribulations.

Throughout subsequent apparitions, Lucia engaged in dialogue with Mary, while Jacinta witnessed and heard her silently, and Francisco beheld her form. Lucia, exercising caution, advised her cousins to maintain secrecy, aware of the incredulity they would face. Yet, Jacinta's fervor led her to confide in her mother, resulting in reproach for the trio.

Word of the apparitions swiftly spread, drawing a gathering on June 13, when Mary reappeared amidst the burgeoning crowd. In subsequent encounters, Mary urged fervent prayer, emphasized the significance of education for Lucia, and foretold the premature passing of Jacinta and Francisco.

The July 13 apparition witnessed a throng of around two thousand, with Mary revealing a harrowing vision of hell, urging prayers and sacrifices to halt the ravages of the First World War. August 13 saw the young visionaries detained, but subsequent release and Mary's appearance on August 19 underscored her divine presence.

September 13 witnessed a swelling crowd, with Mary exhorting the continuation of the rosary for peace and prophesying a forthcoming miracle. The October 13 assembly of approximately seventy thousand bore witness to the promised miracle—a celestial dance of the sun, validating the authenticity of Mary's messages.

The ecclesiastical endorsement in 1931 marked the official recognition of the apparitions, leading to the beatification and eventual canonization of Francisco and Jacinta. Lucia, guided by her faith, dedicated her life to religious service, passing away in 2005, leaving behind a legacy of unwavering devotion to Our Lady of Fatima.


The Deep Connection with Pope John Paul II

The bond forged between the apparitions of Fatima and Pope John Paul II is profound, carrying immense significance. On May 13, 1981, the very date marking the anniversary of the Our Lady's first appearance to the shepherds, the Pope narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in St. Peter's Square. Despite sustaining grave injuries, his survival was deemed miraculous, with the Pope attributing it to the intercession of the Our Lady of Fatima.

Firmly convinced that the Our Lady of Fatima had interceded to divert the trajectory of the fatal bullet, Pope John Paul II embarked on a pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Fatima on May 13, 1982. There, he presented one of the bullets extracted from his wounds as an offering, symbolizing his profound devotion and gratitude. This bullet was reverently placed within the crown adorning the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, a tangible testament to his unwavering faith.

During his visit, the Pope had a poignant encounter with Sister Lucia, the sole surviving shepherd. Their meeting marked the genesis of a profound bond nurtured through frequent correspondence and personal interactions. Sister Lucia, entrusted with intimate insights into the apparitions, shared her experiences and interpretations with the Pope, deepening his commitment to propagate the message of Fatima.

In Sister Lucia's wisdom, Pope John Paul II found solace and enlightenment, regarding her as a spiritual beacon guiding him to discern the divine will echoed through the Marian apparitions. Throughout his papacy, Pope John Paul II revisited Fatima on multiple occasions, fervently championing the message of Our Lady. He consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and ardently advocated Marian devotion within the Church.


A Message of Hope and Serenity

The apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima persist as an enduring wellspring of inspiration for countless souls worldwide. Through the practice of prayer, sacrifice, and penance, we are beckoned towards inner tranquility and spiritual metamorphosis. Devotion to Our Lady of Fatima serves as a compass guiding us through the tumult of our era, infusing our lives with unwavering faith, hope, and peace.

Back to blog

Welcome to St. Peter's Square

Find out more about our store in St. Peter's Square, watch our video made on Sunday 7 August 2022.
A big thank to our customers who have agreed to be filmed, we truly appreciate it.