Parish of Balbriggan

Centenary of the Apparitions in Fatima

Posted on by balbriggan

Saturday, May 13th marks the 100th Anniversary of the First Apparition of our Lady to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. As part of the celebrations on that day, Pope Francis will visit Fatima and canonise/confirm as saints the two younger children Francisco and Jacinta Marto.


“On the 13th May 1917 three children: Lucia and her cousins Francisco were pasturing their little flock in the Cova da Iria. Suddenly they saw, ‘’a Lady more brilliant that the sun’’ from whose hands hung a white rosary. The Lady told the three little shepherds that is was necessary to pray for sinners, and she invited them to return to the Cova da Iria during following months, always on the 13th day. At the last apparition, on October 13, with about 70.000 people gathered, the Lady revealed them that she was the Lady of the Rosary.

Since 1917 pilgrims have not ceased to come to Cova da Iria from all parts of the world, at first on the 13th of each month, then any day all year round. The most important pilgrimages are on the 12th and 13th, celebrating the apparitions of Our Lady.

The Chapel of the Apparitions is the heart if the Sanctuary, built on the spot where Our Lady spoke to the Little Shepherds. The statue of Our Lady is venerated in that chapel. In her crown there is a bullet extracted from the body of Pope John Paul II after the attempt on his life in Rome, on May 13, 1981, donated by himself to the Shrine in 1984 and added to the crown in 1989.

Francisco and Jacinta died in 1919 as victims of the Great Spanish Flu Epidemic. Holy Father John Paul II on May 13, 2000 declared them blessed. Lucia joined the Carmelite Order in a convent in Coimbra. She died on February 13, 2005. Her body has been transferred to the Basilica in Fatima in 2006, so from that time all mortal remains of three shepherds are in the Basilica.” (From

*There are still a small number of places available on our Parish Pilgrimage to Fatima in October. For more information, please contact Niamh at 8412116 or


Below are some online articles on Fatima

2017 Article on

The Story of Fatima

Pope to canonise visionaries of Fatima

The steps to declaring someone a saint

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