#Article (Archive)

Catholics Visit Fatima, Portugal

Oct 8, 2008, 5:57 AM | Article By: Augustine Kanjia

Marie Rivier Associates belonging to the Presentation Sisters are a vibrant group striving hard for the laity to come close to God. In 2004, they travelled to Portugal to Fatima, where Mary the mother of God had appeared to three children. Thursday has been set aside for the departure of about 19 Marie Rivier Associate members to visit the same site to give thanks and worship God. Augustine Kanjia visits the president of the Marie Rivier Associates, Mrs. Joanna Sarr and talks vastly about their visit and about Fatima.

Mrs. Sarr said Fatima, is in the very heart of Portugal, and is located in the mountainous central region of the Sera de Aira, about thirty miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Originally a remote village in the municipality of Vila Nova de Ourem, it now enjoys the status of a town. Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta were born in this hamlet.

The three little Shepherds were born half a mile from Fatima parish, in a little helmet of Aljustrel. Our Lady appeared to them on 17thOctober 1917 to west of Aljustrel, on a hillside covered with olive trees, there is a small rocky mound known as the Loca do Cabeco, where the angel appeared to the three little children on two different occasions.

Over miles t the west lies the Cova da Iria, one of the many undulating valleys of the region of the region, there Our Lady appeared five times to the little shepherds. In another small valley, on the hillside between Aljustre; amd Loca do Cabeco, lies the Valinhos, where Our Lady appeared to them on the 19thAugust 1917.

According to Mrs. Joanna Sarr, says, When we went in 2004, Lucia the last of the three was still alive. We were told that she would have been 100 years old in 2007. Unfortunately she died just four months after that. The others died in their teens." She said their graves were in the church and an open grave waiting for Lucia.She said the pilgrimage is open to all but their group has twenty-six members that are to go. But in the case where some members may be caught up by problems and they can't make it, then others could replace them. We are going for fourteen days.

There were three Apparitions. The first one was in the Spring of 1916.