Thousands of Catholic devotees joined the streets between Se Cathedral and the church of Our Lady of Penha on Saturday for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the apparition of the Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal.
The celebrations started with a mass held in Chinese, Portuguese and English by Macau’s bishop Stephen Lee.
According to the Public Security Police, three thousand people joined the following procession that ended in the church of Our Lady of Penha with a candle light vigil.
Macau has almost 30 thousand Catholic devotees. The first procession in honour of The Virgin Mary in Fatima was held in Macau in 1929.
Most of the participants said to the local media that this year was special because of the centenary celebrations while in Portugal Pope Francisco made his first visit to Fatima’s sanctuary to canonize two child shepherds that allegedly saw Virgin Mary.
Marian apparitions by the Blessed Virgin Mary are reported as a supernatural phenomenon. They are often named after the place where they have taken place. In the majority of Marian apparitions it is known that only one person has witnessed it, yet there are exceptions like that of Zeitoun (a district of Cairo), Fatima in Portugal and Assiut in Egypt, where thousands claimed to have seen Virgin Mary over a period of time.
Some Marian apparitions and their respective global icons have received a canonical coronation from the Popes. Most notable are that of Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of the Pillar, and Our Lady of Fatima. In Fatima, central Portugal, the Blessed Virgin Mary allegedly appeared on May 13th, in 1917 to three shepherd children – Lucia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto and on each subsequent month until October 13rd. On that day, an estimated 70,000-person crowd came to witness the solar phenomenon and the apparition of a solar goddess, coming out from the sun in a snow-white dress.