12 may, 2016
Shrine of Fatima inaugurates the timer of Centennial
The initiative points to May 13, 2017
The Shrine of Fatima inaugurated this Thursday the “timer of the centennial”, which, from now on, counts down to May 13, 2017, 100 years after the first apparition in Cova da Iria.
The Timer of the Centennial, located in the north top side of the Prayer Area of the Shrine of Fatima, shows the days (365, today), hours, minutes and seconds remaining until the centennial of the first apparition of Our Lady to the shepherds, has said F. Carlos Cabecinhas, rector of the Shrine of Fatima, assuring that the timer will remain after May 13, 2017, “not in countdown”, but “evoking the 100 years of Fatima”.
After the inauguration of the timer, the rector, at the press conference that inaugurated the new press room of the Shrine of Cova da Iria, pointed out the conclusion of the works in the Prayer Area with a “totally functional” new presbytery with “artistic quality”.
“It is an audacious project at the level of the structural solutions and also a well-integrated project within the colonnades and the stairway”, has said the rector underlining that the solutions provided “offer the pilgrims greater convenience and create greater proximity with the Presbytery and also allow a better perception of the beautiful façade of the Basilica”.
The “devotional paths” opened today as well, near the tombs of the seers, in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima.
Father Carlos Cabecinhas said that these measures aimed at facilitating the “visit and the prayer” of the pilgrims.
“We wanted to provide the tombs of the Shepherds of Fatima, the memorial chapels, with conditions that ease the visit and the prayer, for they are devotional places”.
The rector of the Shrine still gave another explanation for these paths of devotion and underlined that the philosophy is to allow “an enhancement of the spiritual experience of the pilgrims in that so important place.”
To conclude, the rector complimented the “vitality” of Fatima, evident with the growing of the number of pilgrims.
The international anniversary pilgrimage started with the welcome to Our Lady and to the pilgrims in the Chapel of the Apparitions, with the presence of the president of this pilgrimage, the cardinal patriarch of Lisbon and the bishop of Leiria-Fatima, at the end of the afternoon.
Very soon, the blessing of the candles and the rosary in the Chapel of the Apparitions will proceed, followed by the candlelight procession and the International Mass in the Prayer Area.
“My spirit rejoices in God my Savior” is the theme of this pilgrimage that, in addition to the usual liturgical celebrations, includes the welcoming of the Pilgrim Virgin – who had made a journey throughout this year across the 21 Portuguese dioceses of the continent and islands, convents and cloistered monasteries - and the consecration of these dioceses to Our Lady of Fatima.