The tour we did of the basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary on 9 Aug was part of a much wider tour of the whole sanctuary precinct. The other two parts can be broken up into the Basilica of the of the Holy Trinity and the memorabilia around the grounds of the Sanctuary.
The construction of this basilica began on 13 May 1928, only 11 years after the apparitions began and two years before official papal recognition of the apparitions as ‘worthy of belief’.
What this phrase means is that firstly nothing has been found within the apparition narrative that is contrary to the Gospel, and secondly that everyone is invited to take it seriously while at the same time there is no compulsion to do so – in effect, if it helps you run with it, if it doesn’t help you then you can ignore it without peril.
Such a papal declaration only happens after extensive study: of the messages received; of the accounts of the events; of the lives of the seers; and of the spiritual fruit produced; all interspersed with rigorous debate; and is never given lightly.
The colonnades on both sides of the basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary resemble the colonnades at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome in that they give pilgrims a sense of being gathered together in love.
The statue of Our Lady in the niche of the bell tower was donated by the United States of America in 1958. In the monogram above the statue you can see three intertwined letters, N, S and R. They stand for ‘Nossa Senhora do Rosario’: in English, Our Lady of the Rosary.
The crown beneath the cross that tops the bell tower was designed to be seen from the nearby freeway: tall enough and big enough to be seen from a considerable distance away.
The external altar area with the all-weather canopy is called ‘Altar do Mundo’ or Altar of the World. Why? Because it makes very large open-air celebrations of Mass possible when it seems like all the world comes to visit.
It is particularly necessary in the warmer months from April to November when very large crowds come on the first Saturday of the month and on the 13th of the month, and whenever the pope visits.
The writing you can see upon that golden arch, ‘Regina Sacratissimi Rosarii Fatimae Ora Pro Nobis’ in Latin, means in English: 'Queen of the Most Holy Rosary of Fátima Pray For Us'.
But it isn’t painted on, it’s a mosaic, and it was made in the Vatican workshops and donated by the Catholics of Singapore.
It has been painted; and has been painted right onto the wall. In it our Lady of Fátima, full of light and peace, is inclined towards the three children.
To her left is a depiction of the annunciation. To her right are several bishops or popes deliberating with the dome of St Peter’s Basilica in the background.
In the foreground is the Angel of Peace ministering the Eucharist to the three children. Behind the children is a depiction of an unidentified Pope, in a protective pose.
In this photo you can see one of the two upper balconies, it’s the one on the right-hand side. With both balconies and the generously sized nave, up to 1500 pilgrims can be accommodated for the celebration of Mass.
Consider how Fátima is on the opposite side of the world to the Broken Bay diocese. Then consider that the parish of The Entrance is named Our Lady of the Rosary, the parish of Wyoming is named Our Lady of the Rosary, the church at Killara is named Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the cathedral at Waitara-Hornsby is named Our Lady of the Rosary – and you begin to glimpse the worldwide impact of Fátima.
#bbwyd #wydlisbon #wyd2023 #lisboa2023
9 Aug 2023, 12.39am Portugal: 9 Aug 2023, 9.39pm Sydney
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