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Faithful fill churches in Rio to celebrate the day of Our Lady of Fátima



Fies fill the masses commemorating the day of Our Lady of Fátima in the city centerCléber Mendes/O Dia Agency

Rio – This Friday (13) Catholics celebrate the day of Our Lady of Fátima. And in commemoration of Santa dos Segredos, as it is known, thousands of faithful participated in the masses, processions and festivities.

Since dawn, devotees have gathered at the Church of Nossa Senhora de Fátima, in the central region of the city. Several masses were celebrated throughout the day. At 12:00 the Solemn Mass of the Apparitions took place. The festivities end at 20:00, with the luminous procession and the coronation. The Church of Nossa Senhora de Fátima is located at Rua Riachuelo, 367.

Three times, Sônia Pereira da Costa, 64, was diagnosed with cancer in different parts of her body and, on all occasions, clinging to her faith and devotion to Our Lady of Fátima, she was cured of the disease. “She always guided me, I was cured of three cancers, one in the eye, one in the intestine and one in the endometrium. I am always attended to,” she said.

According to her, other people in the family also had graces achieved thanks to the saint and were also at the church to give thanks.

“I am very devout, I am very grateful for my healing. I always receive graces, so I am very connected. I wanted to go to thank the graces achieved, the victories and miracles achieved. Little to ask and much to be thankful for”, she said.

Obstetrician Bruno Dourado, 31, said that he did not grow up in a Catholic family, but when he was still a child, during a family trip, when he saw an image of the saint – which he keeps to this day – he decided to convert and become if devout.

“Since then, my devotion has only increased. I had, by choice, my catechesis and first communion, I have my confirmation, I started to attend Sunday Masses as a teenager when I still lived in Bahia and I have the 13.05 tattooed and immortalized on my left forearm. Maria was always present in my life, I always asked for her intercession in adversity, miracles always came”, said the doctor, who revealed that when choosing his profession, he made a promise to Our Lady of Fátima to help him during the specialization.

“When I decided to be an obstetrician, I made a promise at the feet of the Virgin of Fatima that if she, who was the mother of us all, would allow me to pass the specialization at the hospital I always wanted, I would be even more sure that my purpose in life would be taking care of mothers, pregnant women and women who dream of motherhood and I would treat my service and my patients with the same love I have for her, the mother of us all”, he added.

At the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, in Recreio, West Zone, the celebrations started early, at 6 am. During the day, several masses and rosaries will be held. At 18:00, the third of candles, the last mass of the day and the procession take place. The sanctuary is on Av. Alfredo Balthazar da Silveira, 900.

Old Blacks Day

This Friday is also celebrated the day of the Pretos Velhos, entities worshiped in Umbanda that represent the spirits of ancestors who were enslaved and return to Earth during the giras – rituals of the terreiros – to help people.

In several terreiros throughout the state, Umbanda practitioners make preparations, which usually take place at night. Traditionally, they are known as “Grandpa” and “Grandma” and are considered highly evolved beings. The day is celebrated with offerings, atabaques and food.

The day of Pretos Velhos is celebrated on the date of the liberation of black men and women enslaved in Brazil. On social media, many faithful expressed their faith in commemoration of the date.

History of Our Lady of Fatima

The story tells that Our Lady of Fátima appeared more than 100 years ago in the city of Fátima, which is about 130 kilometers from Lisbon, Portugal. The saint would have made her first appearance to three children, who were shepherds: Lúcia de Jesus, 10 years old, Francisco, 9, and Jacinta, 7.

Known as “the three Little Shepherds of Fatima”, Lúcia, Francisco and Jacinta stopped to pray the rosary while accompanying the flock of sheep. When they reached the prayer of 50 Hail Marys, the saint appeared to them. The children were scared, but then they saw Our Lady surrounded by a great light.

In her first apparition, Our Lady of Fatima asked the little shepherds for prayers, sacrifices and reparation for the offenses to her Immaculate Heart and to God. After the requests, she invited the boys to continue praying and always return to the same place for the next six months, always on the 13th and at the same time.

Over the course of the six months, other people began to join the children during the Santa’s apparitions. According to the story, in a last apparition, on October 13, 1917, about 70,000 people were beside the little shepherds. With that, devotion to Our Lady of Fatima began in Portugal, which later spread throughout the world.

The story also tells that Our Lady would have revealed secrets to the little shepherds during the apparitions. Hidden for a long time, they were only revealed in 1941, in a book written by Lucia. The first secret would be the vision of hell; the second, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the conversion of Russia to Catholicism. The third would have been about the persecution suffered by the Catholic Church.

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