The World Apostolate of Fatima, as a policy designed by its International Board, has been promoting the construction of replicas of the Chapel of the Apparitions of Fatima, located in Portugal, for its regional centers, namely, in the Philippines – Asia, in the Czech Republic – Europe, in Panama – Central America and in Samoa – Oceania. The establishment of the official replicas of the Chapel of the Apparition is a process that requires the approval of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima, in Portugal.

Although the present pandemic crisis is delaying the works of these projects, there are already positive developments that we wish to report here. 

In Panama, on 13 October 2019, the Archbishop José Domingo Mendieta, with the support of the World Apostolate of Fatima, announced publicly the creation of a shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima, in Panama City, whose core will be a replica of the Little Chapel of the Apparitions. The announcement was made to the assembly gathered at the Basilica Santa María la Antigua, followed by the presentation of the video with the model of the project, much appreciated by all.  The Archbishop, in the letter he wrote to the Rector of the Shrine of Fatima, asking permission for this had explained:  “With this chapel we aspire to give pilgrims in Panama and the world an evangelizing welcome, worthy and filled with the Lord’s love and His Mother’s spirituality, from the Message that She conveyed at Cova da Iria and that nowadays is more alive than ever in the heart of the Panamanians”. The members and friends of the World Apostolate of Fatima in Panama have since then, carried various initiatives to fundraise the building of this shrine in the hope to begin soon erecting it.

In the Czech Republic, precisely at Koclirov, where the World Apostolate of Fatima has its national centre, the first stone for the replica of the Chapel of the Apparitions was launched and blessed on the 3rd October 2020. The date also marked the 25th anniversary of the Apostolate’s presence in this country.

Bishop Jan Vokal of the diocese where the centre is located presided the ceremony with the presence of the faithful, who had gathered there also for the First Saturday’s devotion. He encouraged the assembly to see in this symbolic act towards building the replica of the Chapel of the Apparitions, precisely in a place marked by much suffering during the time of communism, the celebration of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and ulterior encouragement for a deeper Marian devotion. In the place where the chapel is to be built stands now, a wooden arch with two lamps, just identical to the porch that had been built by the people at the site of the apparitions in Cova da Iria, in year 1917, to mark the sacred place.   

In Samoa Island, in the Pacific, the plan to build the replica of the Chapel of the Apparitions was a decision taken during the Oceania Regional Congress of the World Apostolate of Fatima, held there in 2019. The members of the Apostolate, willing to build their own national center for the Apostolate, presented the proposal to their Archbishop and included in it the plan to integrate in the same construction also the replica of the chapel of Fatima. This was accepted and the archdiocese already made available the needed land for the construction. In this way, the center with its replica of the Chapel of the Apparitions, will serve as a missionary nucleus for the New Evangelization and the promotion of the Message of Fatima and devotion to Our Lady for the Region of Oceania

The World Apostolate of Fatima of the Philippines, has also accepted the invitation to initiate the building of the only replica of the Chapel of the Apparitions in Asia. After consulting the archbishop of Cebu, the territory where the chapel is being built and having also received the permission from the Shrine of Fatima, the project was quickly put on motion. A new Foundation entitled “Três Pastorinhos de Fatima” was created to deal with everything related to this major and challenging work, supervised by the World Apostolate of Fatima of Cebu.

At present, the progress of the works is notable. Although there is still a lot of work to be finished, the main structure of the building is concluded. The quite place in the Cebu hills has already hosted the celebration of the Holy Mass, on each 13th of the month, with the number of pilgrims growing from month to month. This is to ask God’s intercession and protection for this project and at the same time to make the place known to many people. However, the official plan is to dedicate the new “Capelinha” on the 13th of October 2021.   

The World Apostolate of Fatima hopes that the establishment of these new replicas of the Chapel of the Apparitions, in addition to the existing ones in USA, Puerto Rico and Brazil, will facilitate and increase, in these regions, devotion to Our Lady and the formation of the faithful into the spirituality of the authentic Message of Fatima. Places that will be like beams of light shining God’s mercy to humanity.

The support of many, both through prayer and financially is much appreciated to enable us to fulfill this dream.

On the 20th of February the Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta Marto, the two little children of Fatima, canonized in year 2017. The World Apostolate of Fatima, every year, takes this date to celebrate the sanctity of these two little shepherds and to promote their spirituality. This year, due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, many will have to celebrate this Feast at home, in prayer or by joining events through the digital platforms.

One of these can be the program that has been formulated by the Sanctuary of Fatima for this date. A program that, for the first time, will be carried without the physical presence of pilgrims.

From February 11th, a Novena to the Shepherd’s Saints is being conducted and all the celebrations at the Shrine of Fatima have also a special invocation of Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta, in preparation for the Feast day. The icons and sculptures of the two Saints are also on display at the Basilica and at the little Chapel of the Apparitions.  

On the eve of the 19th of February there will be a Vigil in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. On the 20th of February, at 11h00, there will be the Holy Mass presided over by Cardinal Antonio Marto. In the afternoon, at 14h00, the Sanctuary will share on its social networks a documentary about the life and importance of the Little Shepherds.

The parish church of Fatima, where the little shepherds were baptized, has also launched the ”Week of the little Shepherds”. Since “the main thing is to do what Our Lady asked, to pray the rosary, as the Little Shepherds prayed and sacrificed themselves for sinners, so each day of this week a family will pray in their house the Rosary and will record it in video to share with the other families” announced the parish priest.

As we celebrate the Feast of Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta, we ask for their intercession, so that God may quickly free the world from the pandemic and from so many evils. We pray for those who have died and for the sick as well as for those who are in the front line fighting this virus.  

On the 13th of October, 2020, the World Apostolate of Fatima led a major effort to offer a worldwide reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as requested in the message of Fatima, through two beautiful events: the offering of a spiritual bouquet to Our Lady and the celebration of the annual Worldwide Children’s Holy Hour,  pleading Our Lady’s promised intercession, for peace, for families, for the Church and for the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart.

In the morning of the 13th of October, in the Chapel of the Apparitions of Our Lady, in Fatima, Portugal, two children offered Our Lady the second Spiritual Bouquet – the first was last May 13th - by placing flowers at Her feet, on behalf of every person who had joined the Worldwide 5 Million Rosaries Campaign, through the webpage www.worldrosary2020.org. The ceremony was introduced by the presiding priest with these words: “At the beginning of this prayer, two children, representing thousands of other children from around the world, offer flowers to Our Lady and, with them, a Spiritual Bouquet made up of millions of rosaries, prayers and Eucharist participation.  These Children of the Eucharist, an initiative of the World Apostolate of Fatima, have prayed and continue to pray for the end of the pandemic, for peace in the world, for the victory of good over evil and for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

After this, the recitation of the Rosary followed and, in the end, the Image of Our Lady was carried in procession for the Holy Mass, presided by Mgr. Jose Ornelas, president of the Portuguese Bishop’s Conference. Here you can watch a short video with the celebrations, including the presentation of the Spiritual Bouquet to Our Lady:

Despite the smaller number of pilgrims present in the esplanade of the Fatima Shrine, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a profound spiritual communion with all the Fatima devotees around the world, in particular, with the members of the World Apostolate of Fatima, who followed the celebrations through the social media.

Also on this day, the 18th Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour was celebrated and broadcast by EWTN, from their chapel in Irondale, Alabama, USA. Children and youngsters have united in prayer around the world, “in an universal plea for a divine intervention in the midst of our uncertain times, to restore peace, health and joy in our needy world; to strengthen families, our “domestic churches” and accelerate the promised triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a promise of salvation in the midst of the present chaos and obscurity, with the triumph of good over evil, of the culture of life over the culture of death; of virtue over vice, of piety over indifference!” as said by the International President of the World Apostolate of Fatima.   

A new major movie, FATIMA, inspired by the story of the apparitions of Fatima in Portugal, will be released worldwide in theaters from April 2020. This movie is “a powerful and uplifting drama about the power of faith”, based on the story of a 10-year old shepherd and her two young cousins in Fatima, Portugal, who report seeing visions of the Virgin Mary.”

The film details their courageous response during which they faced ridicule, persecution, and punishment from within their own family, their local community, and the government. Throughout they maintained their childhood innocence while also remaining true to their mission of bringing a message of peace to the world. 

FATIMA was filmed as an epic feature in Portugal and includes actors such as Harvey Keitel, Sonia Braga, Goran Visnjic, Joaquim de Almeida, Lucia Moniz, and Stephanie Gil in the iconic role of the Little Seer, Lucia. Directed by Marco Pontecorvo, and featuring an original song “Gratia Plena” performed by Andrea Bocelli, FATIMA is a profound, beautiful and authentic homage to the human story behind the apparitions and miracle of Fatima.

The World Apostolate of Fatima has been a part of this project, right from its initial stage of production and it is with delight that we see it coming to reality. The film will be a rare opportunity for the Apostolate to promote the meaning and message of Fatima to a wider public.

Prof. Americo López-Ortiz, international President says that the film FATIMA “presents the authentic Message of Fatima with a new perspective, appealing to our contemporary world; a drama unique in its call to those hungering for God’s intervention in history to bring peace and goodwill among humans. A beautiful cinematography serves as a background to a story based on true facts that portrays God’s love and mercy towards mankind.” And he adds that “it is a film that will move hearts in a positive way and that will be a reference for many years to come.” 

The Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, in Portugal, has also endorsed the  movie, underlying that  “the film leads us to reflect that 100 years later, the light of God that the Virgin Mary shined upon Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia still lights the way for those who commit to a life of faith in the Gospel.” 

The trailer of the film is available here. For more information, visit the webpage www.fatimathemovie.com

The World Apostolate of Fatima, in conjunction with the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, is convoking all of the faithful to join the great celebration of the 100th anniversary of the death of Saint Jacinta Marto, on the 20th of February 2020. On this day, the Church celebrates the liturgical feast of Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta Marto, the Little Shepherds of Fatima, canonized on May 13th, 2017.

The proposed program for the celebrations includes a vigil of adoration and reparation to the Blessed Sacrament, in the company of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on Wednesday, 19th of February, 2020, eve of the Feast day. This vigil will be offered for the intention of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in our days.

On the Feast day itself, the World Apostolate of Fatima encourages that all around the world, celebrations and acts of piety are offered to honor God and Our Lady, through the veneration of Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta Marto. Such acts can include the meditation of the Rosary; veneration and procession with the icons or statues of Our Lady of Fatima and Saint Jacinta and Saint Francisco, the votive Mass of Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta, for the unity and strength of the Church and some talks or activities specifically directed to school children, to teach the spirituality of the little shepherds of Fatima. 

It is important that the heroic virtues of the two new saints are made known throughout the universal Church, presenting them as models for holiness. Saint Jacinta, a model of missionary and active life for the evangelization of the world. Saint Francisco, the consoler of God and the reparative soul. These are the two schools for sainthood.

The program at the Shrine of Fatima, in particular the celebrations held at the Chapel of the Apparitions, can be followed by internet through http://live.worldfatima.com