ADVENTURES OF  VERINA & VINCENT  IN EUROPE

 

 

LISBON

 

Lisboa, travel from Lisbon to Fatima

 

Is the capital and largest city of Portugal. It is also the seat of the district of Lisbon and capital of the Lisbon region. Its municipality, which matches the city proper excluding the larger continuous conurbation, has a municipal population of 564,477 in 84.8 km� (33 sq mi), while the Lisbon Metropolitan Area in total has around 2.8 million inhabitants, and 3.34 million people live in the broader agglomeration of Lisbon Metropolitan Region (includes cities ranging from Leiria to Set�bal). Due to its economic output, standard of living, and market size, the Grande Lisboa (Greater Lisbon) subregion is considered the second most important financial and economic center of the Iberian Peninsula.The Lisbon region is the wealthiest region in Portugal and it is well above the European Union's GDP per capita average - it produces 45% of the Portuguese GDP. It is also the political center of the country, as seat of government and residence of the Head of State.

 

Restauradores square

 

Katedral Lisboa

 

 

Lisbon was under Roman rule from 205 BC; Julius Caesar made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia. Ruled by a series of Germanic tribes from the 5th century, it was captured by Moors in the 8th century. In 1147, the Crusaders under Afonso Henriques reconquered the city for the Christians and since then it has been a major political, economic and cultural center of Portugal.
Unlike most capital cities, Lisbon's status as the capital of Portugal has never been granted or confirmed officially�by statute or in written form. Its position as the capital has formed through constitutional convention, making its position as de facto capital a part of the Constitution of Portugal.

Lisbon hosts two agencies of the European Union, namely, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), is also headquartered in Lisbon.

 

Vasco da Gama bridge menyatukan kota Lisbon yang terbelah Sungai Targus

 

In the first years of the 19th century, Portugal was invaded by the troops of Napoleon Bonaparte and Queen Maria I and Prince-Regent Jo�o (future John VI) temporarily fled to Brazil. Considerable property was pillaged by the invaders.

The city felt the full force of the Portuguese liberal upheavals, beginning its tradition of caf�s and theatres. In 1879 the Avenida da Liberdade was opened, replacing a previous public garden.
Lisbon was the centre of the republican coup of October 5, 1910 which instated the Portuguese Republic. Previously, it was also the stage of the regicide of Carlos I of Portugal (1908).
The city refounded its university in 1911 after centuries of inactivity in Lisbon, incorporating reformed former colleges and other non-university higher education schools of the city (such as the Escola Polit�cnica). Today there are 3 public universities in the city (University of Lisbon, Technical University of Lisbon and New University of Lisbon) and a public university institute (ISCTE.
Parque das Na��es (Nations' Park), where the Expo 98 took place and now a venue for important shows and festivals.
During World War II Lisbon was one of the very few neutral, open European Atlantic ports, a major gateway for refugees to the U.S. and a spy nest.
In 1974, Lisbon was the central destination point of the Carnation Revolution maneuvers, the end of the Portuguese Corporative Regime (Estado Novo).
In 1988, a fire near the historical centre of Chiado greatly disrupted normal life in the area for about 10 years.
In 1994, Lisbon was the European Capital of Culture.

 

Torre de Belem  (Menara Belem) setinggi 30 meter berdiri abad 15 merupakan ikon kota Lisbon di mulut Sungai Targus

 

Kebersamaan orang Indonesia di Menara Belem, November 2014

 

Muara Sungai Targus

 

 

Selama ratusan tahun para pelaut Portugis menguasai perekonomian Eropa, meneguhkan kejayaan sebagai bangsa pelaut ulung, dan menyebarkan Injil di daerah jajahannya. Kejayaan mereka di lautan berakhir dengan lepasnya daerah jajahan Portugis terakhir yaitu Makau yang diserahkan ke Tiongkok pada tahun 1999.

Artefak yang masih utuh dan perlu dikunjungi para turis asing adalah Menara Belem (Torre de Belem) di mulut Sungai Targus, dimana para pelaut selalu 'berpamitan' pada menara tersebut sebelum berlayar mengelilingi dunia. Christopher Columbus pun berhenti di Belem setelah menemukan dunia. Ketika para pelaut pulang dan melintasi Menara Belem, mereka melambaikan tangan pada patung Virgem de Boa (Virgin of the Safe Homecoming) yang berada di bagian selatan. Patung Bunda Maria itu digambarkan tengah menggendong anak kecil dengan tangan kanan dan melambaikan seuntai anggur di tangan kiri.

Menara empat lantai itu dibangun pada masa pemerintahan Raja Manuel I pada tahun 1515 dengan batu padas sisa pembangunan gereja Santa Maria de Belem. Awalnya dibangun sebagai menara pengamat bagi legiun penjaga pantai yang bermarkas di Kastil Sao Vicente de Belem. Tak lama kemudian menara itu ditambahi bangunan dua lantai yang berfungsi sebagai benteng pertahanan.

Menara tersebut pernah menjadi tempat penahanan Paus Leo X. Tidak jelas mengapa Paus Leo X ditahan Manuel yang juga seorang kristiani. Tidak jelas pula mengapa Manuel ketika itu mengirim bayi badak untuk Paus yang berada di tahanan. Hadiah tersebut lalu diabadikan dalam bentuk ukiran seekor badak di badan menara. Dalam masa penahanan Paus itulah lantai keempat menara diubah menjadi altar.

Sebagai benteng pertahanan Lisbon, menara itu dua kali gagal menahan serangan musuh yakni bangsa Spanyol dan Perancis. Pada tahun 1630an menara tersebut diubah menjadi portal bea cukai hingga aturan bea masuk kapal asing dihapus pada tahun 1655.

Ketika seisi Lisbon hancur karena gempa besar pada tahun 1755, Menara Belem masih kukuh berdiri. Pada tahun 1983 Menara Belem ditetapkan sebagai salah satu warisan dunia oleh UNESCO, dan kini menjadi salah satu obyek wisata utama Lisbon selain Kastil St. George di pucuk bukit di tengah kota lama.

Masuk ke Menara Belem tidak dipungut bayaran, hanya untuk dapat naik ke lantai tertinggi, kita harus membayar EUR 4 agar tidak terlalu banyak pengunjung yang ingin naik ke menara, dikuatirkan dapat mengurangi kekuatan menara. Di dekat menara ada cafe terapung, dimana dari dek belakangnya kita dapat melihat dua ikon kota Lisbon yaitu jembatan gantung 25 de Abril dan Menara Belem.

Dari pusat kota lama Lisbon, kita dapat menggunakan trem dengan tiket EUR 6 yang berlaku selama 24 jam (one day ticketing).

 

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos

 

Memiliki struktur dan ornamen zaman Manuelito yang menakjubkan

 

Dalam biara Mosteiro dos Jeronimos dekat pintu masuk ada keranda Vasco da Gama (penjelajah dunia, gubernur India, tuan tanah kawasan perdikan Vidigueira. Di biara inilah Vasco da Gama menghabiskan malam untuk berdoa sambil berlutut sebelum perjalanan panjang menemukan goa di India yang membuka jalan Portugis menguasai dunia. Tentu tidak ada mayat utuh di keranda itu karena jenasah Vasco da Gama dimakamkan di gereja Saint Francis di Kochi, India. Namun setelah dimakamkan di Kochi selama lebih dari 15 tahun, sisa jasadnya dibawa kembali ke Vidigueira dan dimakamkan dengan peti mati yang dipenuhi emas dan permata. Lebih dari 40 tahun kemudian, jasadnya kembali dibawa ke biara Jeronimo agar dapat bersanding dengan dua raja Portugis yang dilayaninya, Manuel I dan John III.

Lisbon (Lisboa) merupakan kota tua yang dibangun lagi setelah hancur lantaran gempa besar tahun 1755. Tetenger kota Lisbon yang bertahan dari kehancuran adalah Castelo de San Jorge.

Untuk mengunjungi Kastil Santo George kita dapat naik kereta listrik dari halte Praca de Figueira, namun juga bisa dengan kereta listrik 28E dan 12E yang menjadi salah satu ciri khas kota Lisbon. Dari Praca de Figueira, trem menyusuri jalan mendatar hingga Praca Dom Pedro IV, lantas menanjak 45 derajat ke arah Alfama (perkampungan tua yang dibangun bersamaan dengan pembangunan benteng kota).

 

Lisbon tramway

 

Menyusuri jalan-jalan di Alfama yang sempit dan berkelok-kelok membuat trem harus berhenti berkali-kali untuk berbagi jalan dengan mobil dan turis yang melintas mendaki bukit. Menanjak sekitar 15 menit sampai ke halte Solar dos Mouros, turun dari trem menyaksikan Secatedral, yakni gereja terbesar di Lisbon yang juga sempat dijadikan masjid oleh bangsa Moor (bala tentara dari Afrika Utara penakluk Semenanjung Iberia pada masa Khalifah Ummayah Al-Walid.

Dari ketinggian bukit itu bisa kita saksikan rumah-rumah tua Lisbon yang rata-rata dibangun 3-4 lantai dengan genting warna merah dan tembok putih. Juga terlihat Sungai Targus yang dijejali kapal-kapal pesiar berukuran raksasa serta bentangan Jembatan Vasco da Gama.

 

Cristo Rei memberkati kota Lisboa

 

Untuk masuk Kastil harus membayar EUR 7,5 atau dapat diskon EUR 3 apabila kita mempunyai Lisboa card yang dibeli di bandara. Setelah memasuki pintu gerbang, kita langsung bertemu patung Raja Alfonso Henriques (pendiri Portugal dan dari dialah raja-raja Portugal diturunkan) di tengah lapangan. Di pinggir lapangan dapat kita saksikan pemandangan kota Lisbon dari segala penjuru. Dari mulut Sungai Targus di tepi Samudra Atlantik terlihat dari kejauhan adalah Menara Belem, Jembatan 24 de Abril, dan patung Cristo Rei yang sedang membentangkan tangan memberkati kota Lisbon.

 

Oriente Railway Station

 

Fatima is a city in Portugal famous for the religious visions that took place there in 1917. The city itself has a population of 7,756 and is located in the district of Santarem in central Portugal, 187 km south of Porto and 123 km north of Lisbon. F�tima is a parish in the municipality of Our�m.
The name of the town (formerly a small village) comes from the Arabic name Fatima (Fāţimah, Arabic: فاطمة ), and legend says it derives from a local Moorish princess named Fatima who, following her capture by Christian forces during the Islamic occupation of Portuguese territory, was betrothed to Gon�alo Hermigues, Count of Our�m, converted to Catholicism, and was baptised before marrying the Count in 1158. Her baptismal name was Oureana.
Fatima's claim to fame is the shrine called the Sanctuary of F�tima, built to commemorate the events of 1917 when three peasant children claimed to have seen the "Virgin of the Rosary", Our Lady of Fatima. The children actually experienced the Marian apparitions in a pasture called the Cova da Iria near the village of Aljustrel, about a mile from Fatima.
The economy of the town relies on religious tourism. Fatima now attracts hosts of believers from far and wide, particularly on the pilgrimage days, and the shrine has been developed on a correspondingly large scale. The town has a considerable number of shops and stalls selling all kinds of religious articles, and the streets of the town have plenty of hotels, hostels and restaurants.

 

The years 1916 and 1917 will be remembered as among the darkest in the history of the peoples of Europe.
The major powers were ferociously tearing one another asunder in a great fratricidal war- the First World War - which was to cause the death of millions of victims.
In 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution broke out in Russia. As time went by, it was to bring to many nations, and even impose by force, the principles of atheism, religious persecution and the negation of the spiritual values of the human person. At that very time, in Fatima, the Angel of Peace and the Virgin Mother of God and of men, brought to the three little shepherds a message of peace, of hope and of love for all mankind.
Portugal, a small nation of but fifty thousand square miles and less than ten million inhabitants, lies to the west of Spain, facing the Atlantic Ocean. Portuguese independence dates from 1143, the year of its decisive victory over the Moors. As a seafaring people and a nation of explorers, Portugal was among the first to venture on the ocean highways towards the discovery of unknown lands, bringing them what was good and what was bad in European civilization of those times.
In 1917, Portugal found itself in a desperate condition, politically, socially and economically. Governments followed one another, all equally unable to solve the nation�s problems. Revolutions , were the order of the day, and the people lost all confidence in their rulers. In the economic field, there was complete bankruptcy; on the military plane, war was being waged on two fronts - in France and in the African colonies. The population of Portugal at that period consisted mainly of humble country folk, honest and hard-working people even if poor in material goods. Where religion was concerned, those in power endeavored to stir up hatred and persecution.
As far back as 1911, Alfonso Costa, then Head of State, approved the law of total separation of the Church and State in the following declaration: "Thanks to this law, Portugal, within two generations, will have succeeded in completely eliminating Catholicism". Schoolchildren were obliged to march through the streets, carrying banners inscribed with the words: "Neither God, nor Religion".

 

Little Shepherds walked to Fatima hills
"Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me."

LIFE and TIME of the 3 Seers: FRANCISCO & JACINTA MARTO, LUCY DOS SANTOS

Now of the 3 Seers: DEN VINCENT & JENG VERINA, JENG DEBRA DE SECAPRAMANA


There reputedly was supernatural activity centuries before the Fatima apparitions. As far back as the 1100s, an impoverished young girl from the nearby hamlet of Reguengo do Fetal reported an apparition of what historians record as the Blessed Mother, and in the 14th century another woman in the vicinity encountered Mary in a vision that won the bishop's approval -- 600 years before Lucia and her two cousins, Francisco and Jacinta, saw the Blessed Mother at the Cova da Iria.
In the same area around the same time a third marvel was recorded as a knight named Nuno and his men claimed to see angels, and a deaf girl claimed a vision of the Madonna just a mile and a half from where Lucia would see Mary centuries later.
The apparitions at Cova da Iris occurred during Portugal's First Republic (1911-1926) during which time the church had lost many of its properties and anticlerical feelings were festering around the country. In 1911 the head of state, Alfonso Costa, had even promised to wipe out Catholicism 'within two generations'. The apparitions were therefore was to counter the twin threats of secularization and the decline of religious piety, a resistance to communist political movements. In the later years of the 20th century, the Vatican and Pope John Paul II, who particularly loves Marian shrines, have continued to accentuate the popularity of Fatima and other Marian shrines in the growing secular European culture.
The great fame of Fatima, with more than 2 million pilgrims arriving a year, not however due to the dogma and support or church, by rather that Fatima holds in the hearts and minds of the common people of Portugal, Spain, France and the world. On May 13, commemorating the day of the first apparition, and on October 13, the day of the final apparition, 500,000 pilgrims will crowd into the great square in front of the basilica. During these times there is an atmosphere of extremely passionate religious devotion. In addition to the basilica and its plaza, pilgrims will visit the Chapel of the Apparitions (Capelinha das Aparicoes), the shrine of Valinhos, where Mary appeared for the fourth time and, two kilometers distant, the house of the 'little shepherds'.
On May 12, 1982 Pope John Paul II made a pilgrimage to Fatima and expressed thanks to Mary for saving his life during an assassination attempt the previous year. Incorporated into the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima is the bullet removed from the Pope after he had been shot. On May 13th of 2000, the Pope again visited Fatima and this time revealed that part of the so-called "third secret of Fatima" was that Mary had prophesized the1981 assassination attempt and revealed this in her apparition to Lucia in 1917.


FULLFILLMENT of FATIMA MESSAGE
1. The Miracle of the Sun: Occurred at precisely the moment Lucia said it would. More than 70,000 people, including Masons, communists and atheists, saw the sun, contrary to all cosmic laws, twirl in the sky, throw off colors and descend to earth. The event was reported in newspapers around the world, including the New York Times.
2. All of the Popes since the Fatima Miracle have recognized that the Message is authentic. Several Popes have gone to Fatima in person, including Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II. John Paul II said at Fatima in 1982 that "the Message of Fatima imposes an obligation on the Church."
3. Many other miracles have been performed by God authenticating the Fatima Message as coming from Him, not only at the time of the Miracle of the Sun, October 13, 1917, but down the years to the present day, miracles of conversions and cures which science cannot explain by natural means.
4. The Message of Fatima accurately predicted world events, which proves that it is a true prophecy.


THE FATIMA PROPHESY
The Message of Fatima accurately predicted in 1917 all of the following events which came to pass:
1. The end of World War I.
2. The emergence of Russia as a world power which would "spread its errors (including Communism) throughout the world ... raising up wars and persecutions against the Church";
3. The election of a Pope who would be named Pius XI;
4. The waging of a World War II following a strange light in the night sky.
The Message of Fatima also predicted that if the requests of the Virgin Mary at Fatima are not honored, many souls will be lost, "the Holy Father will have much to suffer", there will be further wars and persecutions of the Church and "various nations will be annihilated." The annihilation of nations predicted at Fatima has not yet occurred, but many fear that it will soon happen, given the growing immorality and corruption of the world.


MESSAGE
The Message of Fatima consists of a number of precise predictions, requests, warnings and promises concerning the Faith and the world which were conveyed first by the Angel Apparition precluding to the messages of the Blessed Virgin Mary later to three shepherd children--Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco--in a series of apparitions at Fatima, Portugal from May to October 1917.
The Message of Fatima in no way differs from that proclaimed by Christ in the Gospel:
O Unless you repent, you will all likewise perished (Luke 13,3).
O Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation (Matthew 26,41).
In Fatima, we have the same exhortation: Prayer and Penance.

 

Square of the Sanctuary of our Lady of Fatima

 

"I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day"

 

The square could hold 250,000 people at its capacity, has been constructed has an apron twice the size of St. Peters square in Rome to provide sufficient space for the gathering of pilgrims. The ceremony of mid-night mass that took place yearly on these two days was immensely moving. The night was filled with thousands of twinkling candles, silent people breaking into chant at chosen moments, and the electric atmosphere created by the respectful reference of the multitude.

The Square looked like 1.5M in length. One end was the hills, once was the small land property of Sr Lucias parents, where the Basilica now stood. The other end, under final construction stage, will be the underground church of the Most Holy Trinity of 9,000 seating, to be inaugurated in late Oct 2007. Similar to Lourde, the underground church would house the pilgrims when the weather became an adverse element, to house daily event such as the nightly candlelight procession. Within its closed fenced courtyard, were the 100ft cross high above the square skyline, and the beloved statue of Pope John Paul II leaning on the cross windswept across.

The basilica was extended by 2 colossal semi-colonnades on both sides, similar but smaller scale to Rome�s. Fourteen stations of the cross in huge mosaic panels, P1020137, ran along its corridors on both sides of the colonnades. On its roof top were the statues of Marian Saints, who dedicated their life to the Lady, and more angels stood in prostrate at some corner top. In the middle, high above the main basilica was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a dedication from the US Catholics.

Towards the basilica was the Chapel of Apparitions, the exact location where Lady Fatima appeared. The Olive tree where Lady Fatima appeared was no longer existed; many pilgrims came and went away with a piece from this heavenly tree. Behind Her was a small chapel, not sure about its function; the entire sanctum was raised as an altar. Behind the altar was a monument of fresh flower bouquets from world-wide pilgrims. On the side of the chapel was an open top housing for candle light burning, praying offering and distribution for nightly procession.
 


In the middle of the square is the gold Rising Christ in blessing posture on high facing outward to the square to the future the Most Holy Trinity church. Fatima holy water with its miraculous healing power in the last 100 years could be availbale at the foot circle of the Rising Christ.

Across the square of the Chapel of Apparitions, was the small Chapel of Miracle of the Sun, where the Corpus Christi was adored by incoming worldwide pilgrims. The Chapel was full, about 100 people in complete silence and praying, no recording media was allowed. Next to the chapel was the Ethnological Museum, where the assassin bullet of Pope John Paul II was kept on the Crown of Fatima as the Pope dedicated his life to the Lady Fatima, 3rd Revelation, in 1981 attempt. The place was closed however to visitors on Sunday. We were out of luck.
 

The candlelight procession took place every night at 7PM to 9PM and could last beyond time in the basilica Square.
In our first night, the Square was filled with its large capacity, out of 250,000 as it could hold, especially on the 13th of the month, when the apparition took place. When entering the square at from the multiple side streets, there were candle lights sparkling everywhere like night crystal, most of all starting from the elevated steps of the basilica where one could have the best view of the entire place all the way to the end of the Square, it could be a mile in the other direction.
 


The start of the procession was the congregation around the Apparition Chapel where it opened outward around 180 from the overhead canopy. Our guide told us to buy the candle behind the Chapel, which was 0.40 euro a piece, the same price as on the streets, and even at the distant pilgrimage site of Lourdes. There were many people already here in line at the candle stands, we got the candles and hustled to get back to the group. Our group eventually broke up in the ocean of people in the big square.

-Ave Maria-- in the beginning.
And the song -Ave, Aveee---Maria._ _ _ _ Ave, Ave Maria followed by multiple languages all in tune at once, in the low tone of responsive singing when the candle lights were raised up high. The sweet sound of European accent -Ave Maria- was very distinct and resonating throughout the pilgrimage trip everywhere, all the way to Lourdes, to Medjugojre, a far distance on the other side of eastern Europe.
The church was very Catholic, very universal among the multitudes of nations.

Somewhere in the turn, an English version of Ave Maria was heard. And it was very homebound and familiar.
Fr Ninh, from Detroit, presented the VN delegation in 5 kinh Kinh Mung Maria... The whole Square of the multitudes responded in recital of their own language.

The procession departed from the Apparition Chapel, then turned at the Rising Christ and went toward the end of the Square, looped back to the basilica, and returned to the Chapel. The walk was about more than 1 mile. The cross in neon light powered by batteries led the procession first together with the wheelchairs, and flags of many worship groups. The Lady Fatima stand, decorated with roses and lights, was carried high and followed at a distance behind by all the pilgrimage and local priests together in 2 columns walking and reciting. Everyone else was in a huge column of procession, an ocean of people and candle lights trailing behind, singing and praying. The acoustic sounds were evenly resounding everywhere and in vast accord in great distance within the Square.
Ave, Ave..Maria ...
Ave, Ave..Maria ...


THE APPIRATIONS OF OUR LADY


** First Apparition, 13th May 1917

"Pray the Rosary every day."

When Lucia asked Our Lady if Francisco would go to heaven, she replied: 'He will go there too, but he must say many Rosaries.' And the Mother of the Saviour also insisted: 'Pray the Rosary every day'.

The three children were tending their sheep in a place called Cova da Iria when a flash of lightning drew their attention to a Lady standing on the top of a small holm oak tree. She was all dressed in white and more brilliant than a crystal glass filled with sparkling water, when the rays of the burning sun shine through it. The Lady told them that she was from heaven and that she would appear there on six successive months, on the 13 th day of each month at the same hour. Lucia asked our Lady if they would go to heaven and the Lady replied that all three of them would go to heaven, but that Francisco had to say many Rosaries. Then, Our Lady asked the children: �Are you willing to offer yourselves to god and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of sinners? 'When the three little Shepherds respond that they were willing to follow her request, she said: 'Then you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort'.

The Ladys message for the children on that day was to pray the rosary every day during the war. Then she began to rise serenely, going towards the east, until she disappeared in the immensity of space.


** Second Apparition, 13th June 1917

"I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay here some time longer."

Our Lady urged them once more: 'Pray the Rosary every day'. The children were again present with a number of other people and had finished praying the Rosary when the Lady, once again, appeared. She told Lucia should learn to read in order to fulfil her mission to do Jesus work on earth. When Lucia asked her if she would take them to heaven, Our Lady replied: I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart_s. She consoled Lucia with the thought that she would be forsaken and that the Ladys Immaculate Heart would always be there for her. Then she opened Her hands and communicated to the little children some rays of light. The children saw themselves in this light, as it were, immersed in God. Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in that part of the light which rose towards heaven and Lucia in that which was poured out on the earth. In front of the palm of Our Ladys right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. It was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by sins of humanity, and seeking reparation.


** Third Apparition, 13th July 1917

"You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them,..."

The word of the apparitions has caused a crowd to gather and about 4000 people were present when the Lady appeared with the words. The Lady promised to make known her identity and to perform a miracle for all to see in the future. She told the children: Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially whenever you make some sacrifices: O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Marys.

Then, she opened Her hands and gave the children a vision of hell which awaited unrepentant sinners. The three little shepherds saw a sea of fire and plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified the children and made them terrible fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. That vision was captured, much later, by the celebrated artist Salvatore Dali in his famous painting "Vision of Hell". The Lady told the children: 'You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out'.

She also said: To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecution of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. At the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world. Our Lady finished Her speech with the following request: "When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need". Then she disappeared.


** Fourth Apparition, 19th August 1917

"At Valinhos, Our Lady promised to make a miracle in the last month, so that all may believe."

The news of the apparitions had reached the civil authorities and the children were under arrest by the regional administrator. This was in the context of the banishment of the Catholic Church by the civil authorities and followed an intensive effort by the Church authorities to suppress the children's story. At one point the children were threatened by the civil authorities with being boiled in oil if they did not recant. They refused and offered to suffer the proffered punishment. The children were released after August 13 th, and on August 19 th, they, once again, saw the Lady at a place called Valinhos. At this time, Our Lady promised to make a miracle in the last month, so that all may believe. She told the children to take the money being left in the Cova da Iria by the people and to build a chapel. They were also instructed to continue praying for the conversion of sinners with the following words:
'Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them'.


** Fifth Apparition, 13th September 1917

'In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe'.

'Continue to pray the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war (WWI)'.

A crowd of about 30.000 people had gathered. Many people tried to reach the children, throwing themselves on their knees and begging the little shepherds to place their petitions before Our Lady. During the praying of the Rosary, Our Lady appeared and left the following message:

'Continue to pray the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war. In October, Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Dolors and Our Lady of Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the child Jesus to bless the world. God is pleased with your sacrifices. He does not want you to sleep with the rope on, but only wear it during the daytime'. She also promised: 'In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe'.

'Continue to pray the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war'.


** Sixth Apparition, 13th October 1917

"Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already so much offended."

"During the miracle of the sun, many present fell in the mud and water, believing..."

An estimated crowd of 70,000 people gathered in a rainstorm for the promised apparition. Among the crowd were many who did not believe and the members of the secular press who were there to report on the event. During the praying of the Rosary, Our Lady appeared and made Herself known as the Lady of the Rosary. She instructed the children to pray the Rosary every day and to build there a chapel in Her honour. She also said: 'Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already so much offended'. Then, She opened her hands and made them reflect on the sun, and as she ascended, the reflection of her own light continued to be projected on the sun itself. During the miracle of the sun, many present fell in the mud and water, believing that the end of the world was taking place. Many later reported that despite being covered in mud, they were dry and free of mud when they arose. Rose petals fell from the sky only to dissipate upon being touched by those present. After Our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, the children beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When this apparition disappeared, the children saw Our Lord and Our Lady of Dolors. Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This vision also vanished, making place for the vision of our Lady of Carmel.

'I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day'.


** The Apparitions at Pontevedra and Tuy

"Our Lady informed Lucia ...of her desire for the Consecration of Russia.", Secret Fatima.

Afterwards, when Lucia was a Religious Sister of Saint Dorothy, Our Lady appeared to her again in Spain, in the Convent of Pontevedra, on the 10 th December 1925. By her side, elevated on a luminous cloud, was a Child. The most holy Virgin rested her hand on Lucias shoulder, and as she did so, she showed her a heart encircled by thorns, which she was holding in her other hand. At the same time, the Child said: Have compassion on the Heart of your most holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them. Then the most holy Virgin requested the devotion of the Five First Saturdays. The request consisted in: praying the Rosary, meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, confessing and receiving Holy Communion, in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

On February 15, 1926, the Infant Jesus appeared to Lucia again, asking her if she had already spread the devotion to his most holy Mother. Lucia placed before Jesus the difficulty that some people had about confessing on Saturday, and asked that it might be valid to go to Confession within eight days. Jesus answered: Yes, and it could be longer still, provided that, when they receive Me, they are in the state of grace and have intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Asked about those who forget to make this intention, Jesus replied: They can do so at their next Confession, taking advantage of the first opportunity to go to Confession.

The last vision was granted to Sister Lucia on June 13, 1929 in the Convent of Tuy, Spain. Sister Lucia was alone in the Chapel, at night, praying the Prayers of the Angel, when suddenly the whole chapel was illumined by a supernatural light, and above the altar appeared a cross of light, reaching to the ceiling. In a brighter light on the upper part of the cross, the face of a man and his body as far as the waist could be seen. Upon his breast was a dove of light and nailed to the cross was the body of another man. A little below the waist, Sister Lucia saw a chalice and a large host suspended in the air, on to which drops of blood were falling from the face of Jesus Crucified and from the wound in his side. These drops ran down on to the host and fell into the chalice. Beneath the right arm of the cross was Our Lady and in her hand was her Immaculate Heart. (It was Our Lady of Fatima, with her Immaculate Heart in her left hand, without sword or roses, but with a crown of thorns and flames). Under the left arm of the cross, large letters, as if of crystal clear water which ran down upon the altar, formed these words: Grace and Mercy. Sister Lucia understood that it was the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity which was shown to her. It was at that time that Our Lady informed Lucia that the moment had come in which she wished Sister Lucia to make known to Holy Church her desire for the Consecration of Russia, and her promise to convert it. This request had been announced by the Apparition on 13 July 1917, in what is called the "Secret of Fatima".

 

Basilica of the Rosary

 

The majority of the images were taken before and after of our Mass, scheduled for 6AM in the morning. As we walked in the basilica, another mass of 5AM was just ended, and exited out. Seemed like the masses were held 24/7 nonstop in this magnificent basilica from many who came from around the world, everyday in their prescheduled window. As the 7AM clock turned over, the next mass begun. We had just one quick group shot taken with a few of us still scattering around, our time was up as the resident usher showed us out.

On the left side of the altar was the shrine of the beatified, last stage of canonized sainthood, Jacinta Marto, 1920 at 10 years old, and Sr Lucia (2005), on the left was the beatified Francisco Marto, 1919 at 11. Both were exhumed and moved from the family burial site to the basilica in the 50s. Jacinta body was incorruptible, in the first exam and final move several years later as the Rose fragrance came from the body was observed during the exhume. Francisco s was left with the incorruptible heart, for his desire of consecration to the Blessed Mary. Flowers and adoration were on the floor of each shrine, constant stream of people stopped and prayed in silence while the main Mass was on-going behind them.

On the 12th and 13th of May 2000, the year of the jubilee, Pope John Paul II has been the third time in Fatima. During Holy Mass on the 13th, the Holy Father beatified Francisco and Jacinta Marto. He began his homily with the following words: "I bless You, Father, since You have hidden these truths to the learned and intelligent and have revealed them to the humble ones". As to the significance of the beatification of the two little shepherds, he said: By this rite the Church wants to put upon the candelabra these two lights which God has lit to enlighten humanity in its hours of darkness and inquietude".

Up and high the above the altar, IMG_9706.jpg: Painting in the centre of the Apse, portraying the apparition of the Angel and of Our Lady to the three little shepherds, the bishop and the popes in the history of Fatima.
On the Left of the altar, was the Statue of Lady Fatima in white about 4ft, the revelation to the world events of the 1900s.

 

We met the cousin of Lucy Dos Santos across the house of Lucy Dos Santos

 

BIOGRAPHY of the 3 SEERS
Of the three shepherd children who witnessed the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima, only one remains alive today, Sister Lucy dos Santos, an Carmelite nun living in the convent of her order in Coimbra, Portugal. As Our Lady predicted at Fatima, both Francisco and Jacinta Marto died several years following the apparitions and are now candidates for sainthood.

FRANCISCO MARTO
was born on June 11, 1908 to Manuel and Olimpia de Jesus Marto and was the older brother of Jacinta and the first cousin of Lucy dos Santos. He was nine years old at the time of the apparitions. During the appearances of the Angel and of the Blessed Virgin, he saw all, but, unlike his two companions, was not permitted to hear the words which were spoken.
When, in the course of the first apparition, Lucy asked if Francisco would go to Heaven, Our Lady replied: "Yes, he will go there, but he will have to recite the Rosary many times." Knowing that he would soon be called to paradise, Francisco showed little interest in attending classes. Often, when arriving near the school, he would tell Lucy and Jacinta: "You go on. I am going to church to keep company with the hidden Jesus" (an expression which refers to the Blessed Sacrament). Many contemporary witnesses affirm having received gifts of grace, after having asked Francisco to pray for them.
"The Virgin Mary and God
Himself are infinitely sad. It is
up to us to console Them!"
In October 1918, Francisco fell gravely ill. To his family members who assured him that he would survive his sickness, he responded firmly: "It is useless. Our Lady wants me with Her in Heaven!" In the course of his illness, he continued to offer constant sacrifices to console Jesus offended by so many sins. "Only a little time remains to me before going to Heaven," he told Lucy one day. "There above, I am going to console Our Lord and Our Lady a great deal; Jacinta is going to pray a great deal for sinners, for the Holy Father and for you. You are going to stay here because Our Lady wishes it. Listen, do everything She tells you."
As his illness worsened and broke his formerly robust health, Francisco no longer had the strength to recite the Rosary. "Mamma, I can no longer say the rosary," he called in a loud voice one day, "it is like my head is among the clouds..." Even as his bodily strength declined, his mind remained fixed on the Eternal. Calling to his father, he begged to receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament (he had not yet received his first Holy Communion at this time). Preparing himself for confession, he urged Lucy and Jacinta to recount for him the sins which he had committed. Hearing of some mild pranks he had committed, Francisco began crying, saying, "I have confessed these sins, but I will confess them again. Perhaps it is because of these that Jesus is so sad. You both ask also that Jesus will pardon all my sins."
His first (and also his last) Holy Communion followed in the tiny room in which he lay dying. No longer strong enough to pray, he asked Lucy and Jacinta to recite the Rosary in a loud voice so he could follow with his heart. Two days later, nearing his end, he exclaimed: "Look mamma, look, a light so beautiful, there near the door." Towards 10 o'clock in the evening, on April 4, 1919, after asking that all his offenses be pardoned, he died calmly, without any sign of suffering, without agony, his face shining with an angelic light. Describing the death of her young cousin in her Memoirs, Sister Lucy writes: "He flew away to Heaven in the arms of our Heavenly Mother."

JACINTA MARTO
was born on March 11, 1910. At the time of the apparitions she was seven years old. She was the youngest of the seers. During the apparitions she saw and heard everything, but spoke neither to the Angel nor to the Mother of God. Intelligent and very sensitive, she remained profoundly impressed when she heard the Blessed Virgin declare that Jesus was much offended by sin. After seeing the vision of hell, she decided to offer herself completely for the salvation of souls.
The night of the first appearance of Our Lady (May 13, 1917), it was Jacinta who, despite the promises she had made to Lucy, revealed the secret of the apparition to her mother: "Mamma, today I have seen the Madonna in the Cova da Iria. Oh, what a beautiful Lady!" Later, Heaven would further grace Jacinta with two powerful visions of the Holy Father: A Pope suffering for the persecutions made against the Church and also for the wars and destructions which convulsed the world. "Poor Holy Father," said Jacinta, "there is a great need to pray for him." From that time on, Christ's Vicar was always present in the prayers and sacrifices of all the seers, but especially Jacinta.
"If only I could place in the
heart of everyone the fire
which I have in my heart
which makes me love the
Heart of Mary so much!"
To free souls from the fires of hell, Jacinta freely undertook sacrifices. In the fierce heat of the summer, she gave up drinking water. As a sacrifice to God's Glory, she offered her afternoon snacks to children even poorer than she. To save souls, she took upon herself the pain of wearing a rough piece of knottted rope next to her bare skin. She endured the exhausting interrogations and insults of disbelievers all without the smallest lament. "If only I could show hell to sinners!" she said, "how happy I would be if all could go to paradise."
A year following the apparitions at the Cova da Iri, the illness which would carry her to death began. First came bronchial pneumonia, then an abscess on the lung, both of which made her suffer intensely. Yet from her hospital bed, she declared cheerfully that her sickness was just a new opportunity to suffer for the conversion of sinners.
After two months in hospital, she returned home whereupon an open and ulcerous sore was shortly discovered on her chest. Soon thereafter she was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Over the course of the next year, she suffered greviously for Our Lady. "Will Jesus be content with the offering of my sufferings?," she asked Lucy. In February of 1920, she was rushed to another hospital, this time in Lisbon. Wasting away to a virtual skeleton and dying without the presence of her beloved parents or Lucy, she consoled herself with the thought that this, too, was yet another chance to offer up her suffering for sinners. In the Lisbon hospital she was visited no less than three times by the Mother of God.
Finally, on the night of 20th February 1920 the promise of the "Lady more brilliant than the sun" was accomplished. "I have come to take you with Me to Paradise." Like Francisco, Jacinta now lies buried in the great Basilica of Our Lady in Fatima.
 

The tomb of Lucy Dos Santos and Jacinta Marto


LUCY DOS SANTOS

was born on March 22, 1907 to Antonio and Maria Rosa dos Santos. The cousin of Francisco and Jacinta, she was the youngest of seven brothers and sisters and the oldest of the three little shepherds. From infancy, she was recognized as especially precocious and was a particular favorite of young and old alike. Buoyed by an open, cheerful temperament and lively intelligence, she organized games, prayers, dances, and other initiatives among the children of the village.
Her sufferings began immediately after the first apparition of the Virgin. She became the principal target of criticism on the part of her family and their friends to the point that she was greatly reluctant to return again to the Cova da Iria for the appointment with Our Lady on the 13th of July. The parish priest of Fatima actually insinuated that she could be a "little instrument of the devil." It was only at the insistence of the other seers that she overcame her fears and journeyed to the Cova as the Blessed Virgin had requested.
Lucy's other great moment of suffering came when Our Lady told her that She would soon carry Francisco and Jacinta to Heaven and informed her that she was to remain alone on earth, to spread the devotion of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. But the Virgin comforted her, "My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way which will lead you to God."
It was Lucy who spoke with the Queen of Heaven, who presented requests of favors on the part of many people and who requested a miracle so that all would believe the apparitions. It was also Lucy who, when the prophets were placed in prison on the 13th August 1917, organized the resistance to the threats and flatteries of the authorities, which had the purpose of discovering the Secret revealed by Our Lady. And when Francisco and Jacinta fell ill, it was again Lucy who assisted them lovingly until the end.
"Lord, make a saint out of me, preserve my heart always pure for You alone!"
In 1921, on the decision of the Bishop of Leiria (the Diocese of Fatima), Lucy was sent away from her village of Aljustrel and taken immediately to the Dorothean Sisters of Villar in Oporto. It was believed that her presence at Fatima could obstruct the impartiality of the investigations then being undertaken to determine the validity of the apparitions. In addition, the 14-year-old Lucy had been the subject of almost continuous harassment and interrogation by friends and enemies alike of the apparitions.
In the year 1928, Lucy became a sister of Saint Dorothy and, later in 1946, after a brief visit to Fatima, she entered the convent of the Carmelite Sisters of Coimbra, where she resides still, under the name of Santa Maria Lucia of the Immaculate Heart.
The Mother of God, who had asked her to remain in the world to propagate devotion to Her Immaculate Heart, came several more times to visit Her servant, including on the 10th of December 1925 when, at Pontevedra, Our Lady gave the young postulant nun the promise of the Five First Saturdays and also, five years later, at Tuy, where, in the presence of the Holy Trinity, She further revealed the spirit of this great devotion of reparation.
She was the only one who claimed to have heard clearly what the Virgin Mary said.
Sister Lucia de Jesus dos Santos died at the age of 97, February 2005, in the convent where she had been living since the 1940s.

 

The House of Lucy Dos Santos


The head trail of this walk was not too far from the Lucias and Santos, and still within the Fatima village. The Walk started right off the main road, P1020024, and directed us on the brick-paved trail through a scattered grove of low Oak trees, the ground vegetation was minimum, and laid with sharp clay-colored rocks.
The 14 stations of the Cross and the Shrine were built along the walk were a gift donated by the Hungarian Catholics, who after WWII fled their country under the persecution of Communism and took refuge in Portugal. Hungarian Catholics persecuted by Communists for their faith and was publicly opened on August 12, 1956. The Angel appeared the First and Third times on this road as the children walked daily to the Fatima hills, tending their sheep. The Second time was at the Lucias by the well. On this road after the Angel appearance 6 months later, the Blessed Mother appeared to the children once, 4th apparition, when they were forbidden by the authority to go to the Fatima hills.

The Apparitions of the Angel, "Herald of the Virgin"
In the history of Israel, Gods chosen people, and in the history of the Church, the Lord has frequently sent his angels as bearers of good tidings that would give men a better understanding of His word and His will. At Fatima in 1916, a year before the Apparitions of the Mother of God, an Angel came three times to visit the little shepherds. As Our Ladys messenger, and forerunner of still greater happenings to come, the Angel prepared the little seers towards a greater understanding, living and spreading of Our Ladys message, which was none other than that of the Gospel.

 

 

 


*FIRST Angel Apparition, Spring 1916
"Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace.
The first apparition of the Angel took place in the spring of 1916 (the seers could not recall the exact date), on a rocky hillside near Aljustrel called Loca do Cabe. It was a rainy day, and the three little shepherds, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, had sought shelter among the rocks. When the sky cleared, they stayed in the same spot, enjoying their games. Suddenly, they beheld a strange light coming towards them from the east. When it drew near, they saw that it was "a young man, about fourteen or fifteen years old, whiter than snow, transparent as crystal when the sun shines through it, and of great beauty" (Lucias Memoirs). He drew closer and said: "Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me." Kneeling on the ground, he bowed down until his forehead touched the ground, and asked them to pray with him three times the following prayer:
"My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You."
Then, rising, he said: "Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications." Then he disappeared. During the whole of that day, and the following day too, the three little shepherds were so immersed in the presence of God that they were unable to speak, even among themselves.

*SECOND Angel Apparition
Appeared nearby the Lucia's

*THIRD Angel Apparition, Autumn 1916
He gave the host to Lucia, and the contents of the chalice to Francisco and Jacinta.
In the autumn of the same year 1916, the little shepherds were up on the slopes of the Loca do Cabeo, where the Angel had appeared to them for the first time. The children were prostrate on the ground, saying the prayer that the Angel had taught them, when an extraordinary light shone upon them. They looked up, and beheld the Angel. He was holding a chalice in his left hand, with a host suspended above it, from which some drops of blood fell into the chalice. Leaving the chalice and the host suspended in the air, the Angel prostrated beside the little shepherds and asked them to say the following prayer: "Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners."
Then, rising, the Angel took the chalice and the host in his hands. He gave the host to Lucia, and the contents of the chalice to Francisco and Jacinta, saying as he did so: Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God. Once again, he prostrated on the ground and repeated with them, three times more, the same prayer, "Most Holy Trinity... ". He then disappeared. He had completed his mission. Six months later, the heavens would open once more to make way for her who was to bring a message of love and salvation to mankind.

*FOURTH Apparition of the Blessed Lady, 19th August
The Shrine of Valinhos was remembered for the fourth apparition on this walk, apart from the Fatima Hill
"If you had not been taken away, the miracle would have been even greater."
"If you had not been taken away, the miracle would have been even greater." The Mother told the children: "In the last month, I will work a miracle so that all may believe. If you had not been taken away, the miracle would have been even greater." Even the newspapers had begun to take an interest in the Fatima apparitions. They took the authorities to task for their negligence and inefficiency in failing to put a stop to the farce of the Cova da Iria. Feeling that this attack was aimed at himself, the Administrator of Vila Nova de Ouri decided to have recourse to a stratagem.
On the morning of the 13th of August, feigning a desire of being present at the apparition, he invited the three little shepherds into his carriage. But, instead of taking them to the Cova da Iria, he turned about and set off at full speed for the Town Hall at Vila Nova de Ouri. There, the little shepherds, individually and together, were subjected to severe questioning, and were threatened with torture and a terrible death: "We shall throw you into a cauldron of boiling oil." All this was to induce them to deny the tales they had spread abroad. The children refused to be intimidated and persisted in their decision to say nothing. On the 15th of August they were taken back home. On the 19th of August, still feeling very sad because they had been unable to keep their appointment with Our Lady, the little shepherds set out to pasture their flocks in a place called Valinhos.
Suddenly, they noticed the signs which usually preceded an apparition. The brightness of the sun faded and the air grew cooler, and they saw the flash of light which they called lightning. Our Lady appeared, standing on a holmoak. She renewed her promise to perform a miracle in October "so that all may believe". Our Lady also spoke of having a chapel built in the Cova da Iria. Finally, she said: "Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them".
And she began to ascend as usual towards the east. From then on, Our Lady request that they should make sacrifices for sinners was constantly present to the mind of the little shepherds, and increased their thirst for making sacrifices. They gave away their lunch, and gave up drinking water even on the hottest days of summer. They went so far as to tie a rope tightly round their waists in order to suffer all the more; Francisco and Jacinta continued to wear the rope even during the illnesses which were to lead to their death.

 

Rossio station

 

 

 

GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD, AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE

 

 

           

 

 

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