May 2023: Fatima Celebrations

May 17, 2023 / Written by: Michael Gorre

America Needs Fatima Joins Demonstrations of Love at Fatima

Ever since Our Lady appeared in Fatima on May 13, 1917, pilgrims have gathered at her shrine in Portugal every year especially on the anniversaries of her appearances in May and in October.

This year saw the return of massive crowds of pilgrims after the ending of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. I, together with longtime America Needs Fatima member Michael King, visited the places graced by Our Lady of Fatima just over a hundred years ago. Our mission was to pray for the intentions of all America Needs Fatima members and benefactors, and to deliver names, prayer petitions, consecration pledges, candles and flowers on their behalf.


May 12th: Candlelight Procession

On the night of May 12, we joined over 230,000 pilgrims in the Cova da Iria to pray the Holy Rosary and to participate in the candlelight procession while bearing the names of ANF members on a special banner and carrying the American flag.

Flag and ANF Name Banner

When the pilgrims raised their candles in the air between decades of the rosary, the hundreds of thousands of flames formed an uninterrupted sea of fire, and the multitude of voices thundered “Ave, ave Maria!” in unison.

Candlelight Procession 1
Candlelight Procession 2
Candlelight Procession 3
Candlelight Procession collage 2

Adding our prayers and voices to that great demonstration of love to Our Lady on behalf of ANF members moved us almost to tears and gave us a lot of goosebumps!

May 13th: Anniversary of the 1st Apparition

The following day, the actual anniversary of Our Lady’s first apparition, the same crowds gathered for the Holy Rosary, Mass and for the farewell or “despedida” procession. Exchanging candles for white handkerchiefs, the faithful waved their farewells as the statue of Our Lady of Fatima processed back to her normal place, the exact spot where Our Lady had appeared. As Our Lady’s statue passed, the enthusiastic pilgrims threw multi-colored rose petals and shouted, “Viva Maria Sanctissima! Viva!” (Long live Mary Most Holy!).

Procession in Fatima

After the crowds dispersed, we brought a hundred pounds of prayer petitions and consecration pledges and deposited them inside the Chapel of the Apparitions.


We presented a white wreath full of thousands of little rosettes sent by ANF members. Then we presented five large candles made from the many thousands of small candles sent by ANF members. Each candle weighed almost ten pounds.

Candles and Roses

We also presented several thousand roses on behalf of ANF members who sponsored Mother’s Day roses to the Mother of all Mothers. We also made a point to pray before the tombs of Saints Jacinta and Francisco on behalf of all ANF members and benefactors.

Seeing and participating in these public and massive demonstrations of love for Our Lady and seeing the outpouring of devotion from Americans, as represented by the numerous symbolic offerings we presented, gives us hope.

As we continue America Needs Fatima’s mission of conquering the heart and soul of America for Our Lady, we must confide that each act of reparation, each rosary rally and every prayer for poor sinners we offer will make our hearts and the hearts of our countrymen ever like the Immaculate Heart of Dearest Mother Mary.

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