Duration - 4 hours
Difficulty - Medium
ONE DAY WITH OUR LADY OF FATIMA IN LISBON
This tour through the streets of Lisbon evokes an interior journey towards a connection with the Virgin Mary, Moher of Jesus and ours. We are invited to take every step of this tour as a step in intimacy with Mary, who so much attracted the three children of Fatima and who will surely continue to strengthen within our hearts the will for a life conversion.
The Estrela Basilica arose from the devotion of Queen Maria I to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1760, when she married Prince Pedro, the then princess made a vow to the Sacred Heart that she would build a church and convent for the nuns of the Rule of Carmel, of the discalced reform of St. Teresa of Jesus, praying for the birth of a male child.
The Basilica was the first church in the world to receive the title of place of worship to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Papal bull, in 1789.
The devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary is well present in the Message of Fatima: “Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world” (2nd Apparition, 13 June 1917 – Memoirs of Sister Lucia).
This request of Our Lady of Fatima to Lucia is also for all of us: “I will never leave you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”
From April 1919, shortly after the death of her brother, Saint Francisco Marto, Saint Jacinta Marto became seriously ill with bronchopneumonia. She was hospitalised at the Ourém Hospital, but kept getting worse. In 1920, Dr. Eurico Lisboa and Canon Formigão started trying to hospitalise her at the Estefânia Hospital in Lisbon. At the time, the rules of the hospital only allowed for children from Lisbon to be treated there. After overcoming some difficulties, Jacinta was received by Mother Godinho, who ran the small Orphanage of Our Lady of Miracles at Rua da Estrela no. 17.
Jacinta started calling the orphanage “House of Our Lady of Fatima”. During the time she was in the orphanage, before being hospitalised, Jacinta spent long hours praying and looking at the “hidden Jesus” (as she used to call the Blessed Sacrament). She communicated daily. She told several people that Our Lady visited her many times at the orphanage.
Due to the worsening of her health conditions, on 2 February 1920, Saint Jacinta Marto is hospitalised at Queen Estefânia Hospital, in a ward for 14 children on the ground floor. In the first few days, there was some recovery that filled everyone with hope, but suddenly she started getting abruptly worse. The pain of Saint Jacinta was excruciating, but she would never express her suffering. She stood out from the other children for her silence and peace. No one in the hospital knew that Jacinta was one of the seers of Fatima.
On 10 February, she underwent a surgery to treat “purulent pleurisy of the large left cavity, with fistula”. In the last three days before her death, she never complained of pain. This was witnessed by doctors and nurses. She smiled again and was amused with religious prints, which she enjoyed the most. On 20 February, Father Manuel Pereira dos Reis, of the Church of Our Lady of Anjos, heard her in confession at 8pm and promised to come back the following day to give her the extreme unction. On 20 February 1920, by 10.30pm, Saint Jacinta Marto died alone in the first floor ward.
No one wanted the body of Saint Jacinta to be thrown into a mass grave... Enough money was raised to pay for the coffin, burial and other expenses. Father Baltazar da Silva transported the remains of Saint Jacinta to the Church of Our Lady of Anjos. Her wake has held on 21 to 24 February, while they decided on where she would be buried.
In the coffin, Saint Jacinta looked like an angel, so fragile, so beautiful... she did not look like a human being who had suffered so much in the last days of life. She was pretty, with her lips and face pink, it seemed she was sleeping.
Hundreds of people discovered that Saint Jacinta was there, and so they began a pilgrimage to the Church of Our Lady of Anjos. They all wanted to kiss the body, showing great pity. Some people wanted to take relics, and it was necessary to keep the coffin under guard.
On 24 February, a crowd of people of all ages accompanied the coffin to the Rossio Station, where the urn was placed on a train and transported to the Chão de Maçãs station (the closest station to Fátima). The Baron of Alvaiázere offered his family's grave for her to be buried in Vila Nova de Ourém.
On 13 September 1935, she was transferred to the cemetery of Fatima. On 1 May 1951, she was then placed in a tomb built on the ground of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima, where the remains of the three Shepherds of Fatima are still venerated today.
The Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount, or Hermitage of the Lady of the Mount, is located in the parish of São Vicente (Graça), in what was called the Mount of Saint Gens, in Lisbon.
The first chapel that existed near this place was built in 1147, after the reconquest of Lisbon. It was dedicated to Saint Gens of Lisbon, who had been bishop of the city long before the reconquest and who would have been martyred around this place. Rebuilt after the 1755 Earthquake, its interior features Rococo style tile panels depicting episodes from the life of Our Lady, a carved altarpiece framing the image of the patroness, an ivory crucifix and a nativity from the School of Machado de Castro. Here you will find the famous chair of Saint Gens, in stone, traditionally sought after by pregnant women who sit on it to pray for a good delivery.
Next to this chapel there is the Viewpoint of Our Lady of the Mount, with a beautiful view over the Castle of Saint George and all Lisbon.
Facing the city, there is an image of Our Lady of Fatima, with the IMMACULATE HEART. It follows the instructions of Sister Lucia on the iconography of the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
“the mantle should fall in a straight line from the head to the end of the robe; the position of the heart is difficult in an image, the way it may give a better idea of reality is the Heart over the chest (...) the right hand open more or less at the height of the shoulder (...) the left hand more or less at the height of the waistband, open as if reflecting in Heaven and serving as a base, but the Heart does not rest on it. It was in front of the chest (...) with an intense light that seemed to spread over the earth. The eyes as if they were looking at the people (...) the mantle had a golden thread around it, like a ray of sun that stood out in the immense light (...) the Heart with thorns around it...”.
An hermitage dedicated to Saint Sebastian was built in this place, in 1505. After the plague of 1569, which killed thousands, the people of Lisbon placed there an image of Our Lady of Health. The chapel underwent works after the 1755 Earthquake, with the highlight being the chancel decorated with green and white gilded woodcarving, in Rococo style, housing the image of the patroness in the altarpiece. The procession in honour of Our Lady of Health, which is held since the 16th century, is one of the most important in the city.
The Portuguese people always had a great love for the Mother of Heaven. In the Memoirs of Sister Lucia, when she describes the Apparitions, it is amazing and moving this immediate maternal union with simple petitions from a 10-year-old child for the sick and for the future of friends and acquaintances.
And what are the answers of Our Lady in Fatima?
At the first apparition in May, and then on all the others, She asked us to pray the rosary each and every day. In June, She promised to cure a sick man if he converted. In July and August, She asked us to offer sacrifices for the sinners. In September, she promised to cure some of the sick and helped us by saying She would make a miracle so that we believe. Finally, in October: “– Some will; others will not. It is necessary that they emend themselves and ask for forgiveness of their sins”.
The Church of Saint Dominic, built in the 13th century by order of King Sancho II, is located in the centre of Lisbon, at the D. Pedro IV Square (Praça da Figueira). The paintings of the altars, the vestments, the treasures, all disappeared during the 1755 Earthquake. Only the sacristy and the chancel, commissioned by King João V, could be saved. Since it was one of the largest churches in Lisbon, all the major religious ceremonies of the Portuguese court used to take place there.
On 13 August 1959, a violent fire completely destroyed the interior decoration of the church. The church underwent works and reopened to the public in 1994, not concealing the marks of the fire, such as the cracked columns. Although destroyed, the church stands out for its polychrome marbles. It only has one nave of majestic dimensions.
With its privileged and central location, it presents some of the characteristics of Fatima in the city of Lisbon. There is a great devotion to Our Lady of Fatima in there, as it has an altar dedicated to this invocation of the Mother of Heaven near the entrance, where every day hundreds of people pray, light candles, make their petitions and thank to Our Lady. Two important relics of Fatima are venerated here: half of the handkerchief used by Lucia on 13 October 1917 and the rosary that belonged to Saint Jacinta Marto.
This temple, rebuilt after the 1755 Earthquake, followed the Pombaline model, characterised by a neoclassical geometrism. In the interior, stands out the vividness of colours provided by natural light that enters abundantly through the windows, falling on the marbles of the walls and on the marbled stuccos, harmoniously dominated by blue, red and ochre. Contemporarily, this church, once designated as the heart of the city, offers a permanent place of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
In the life of the Little Shepherds, as Sister Lucia reminds us in her dialogue with Our Lady in the Apparition of 13 May, their love for the Blessed Sacrament is very present:
“– Then you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort.
As she pronounced these last words “...the grace of God will be your comfort”, Our Lady opened her hands for the first time, communicating to us a light so intense that, as it streamed from her hands, its rays penetrated our hearts and the innermost depths of our souls, making us see ourselves in God, Who was that light, more clearly than we see ourselves in the best of mirrors. Then, moved by an interior impulse that was also communicated to us, we fell on our knees, repeating in our hearts:
– O most Holy Trinity, I adore You. My God, my God, I love You in the Most Blessed Sacrament”.
The church was erected on the site where Saint Anthony was born. He travelled the world as a preacher, having died in Padua. The current temple was built in 1757, in the Baroque and Neoclassical styles, on the site of a chapel dating from the 15th Century. Its noteworthy elements include the image of the Patron Saint, which survived the 1755 earthquake, the crypt on the place where the Saint was born, the paintings by Pedro Alexandrino and the Museum. Pope Saint John Paul II visited the church in 1982.
The dedication of the mother church of the Patriarchate of Lisbon, under the invocation of Saint Mary Major (Santa Maria Maior), took place in 1147 after the reconquest of the city against the Moorish. The Cathedral shows Romanesque and Gothic style characteristics, complemented with interventions carried out in the course of centuries, notably Baroque and Neoclassical interventions, having undergone profound reintegration works in mid-20th Century. Emphasis should be given to the Romanesque façade with two towers, portico and rose window; the Bartolomeu de Joanes Gothic chapel; the irregular Gothic cloister with archaeological remains of different periods; the ambulatory with its radiating chapels; the Nativity by Machado de Castro; and other spaces like the sacristy, the Patriarch’s private room and the treasury, with a rich collection of gold pieces and ecclesiastic garments. Saint Anthony of Lisbon, or of Padua, was baptised in this Baptismal Font in 1195.
The present church was the result of the reconstruction, after the 1755 Earthquake, of the old Church of Our Lady of the Misericórdia of Lisbon, the first seat of the Misericórdia in the country. It façade is, along with the Jerónimos Monastery and the Belém Tower, one of the best examples of the Manueline style in Lisbon. Inside, the chancel stands out, in the place of the former side chapel of the Holy Spirit, built in 1594. It houses the 16th century image of Our Lady of Restelo, before which the Portuguese sailors prayed before departing to the maritime discoveries of a new world.
In the Apparition of 13 October, Lucia reminds us in her memoirs that the words “most deeply engraved upon my heart were those of the request made by our Heavenly Mother:
“– Do not offend Our Lord and God anymore, because He is already so much offended.
How loving a complaint, how tender a request! Who will grant me to make it echo through the whole world, so that all the children of Our Mother in Heaven may hear the sound of Her voice!”.
The church of Our Lady of Fatima, dedicated on 13 October 1938, 21 years after the last apparition of the Virgin in Cova da Iria, is an example of the combination between art and Christian spirituality. When it was built, the church provoked “a lot of controversy”, leading to the intervention of the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, Manuel Gonçalves Cerejeira (1888-1977), who defended the architects, led by Porfírio Pardal Monteiro, and the artists, among them Almada Negreiros and Leopoldo de Almeida.
The images of Our Lady of Fatima and the Shepherds that are exhibited next to the altar were made by Leopoldo de Almeida (1898-1975), one of the most striking figures of Portuguese sculpture in the 20th century and, in particular, one of the best expressions of the official modern statuary in the art of the 20th century in Portugal.