May 2024: Fatima Report

May 14, 2024 / Written by: America Needs Fatima

Pilgrimage to Fatima...

For the commemoration of Our Lady’s first apparition in Fatima, Portugal, America Needs Fatima sent two representatives, Mr. Evan Olwell and Mr. Michael Gorre. They began their mission in the city of Lisbon, where they visited the room where Saint Jacinta of Fatima spent two weeks just before going to the hospital where she died in 1920. Located in what used to be an orphanage, the Franciscan Poor Clares of the Convent of the Immaculate Heart of Mary preserve the room that contains the bed the young saint used, as well as other relics such as a dress, blankets, a pocket knife and even a rosary used by the saint daily. Of particular interest was a small chair next to the bed. Bolted to the floor and shorter than it originally was because relic hunters had cut the legs short, Our Lady sat upon this chair when she visited the young seer to encourage her through her sufferings in the last days of her young but holy life. Our two pilgrims prayed a rosary for all ANF members and benefactors and their intentions in this holy place where Our Lady appeared to Saint Jacinta.

“The Sight of So Many Candles Gave Me Chills”

On the night of May 12, the two pilgrims participated in the traditional candlelight rosary procession. While many in northern Europe and North America witnessed a rare aurora borealis during this time, Fatima pilgrims witnessed the marvelous sight of over three hundred thousand people raising aloft lighted tapers during the recitation of the Holy Rosary.

Candlelight Rosary at Fatima May 2024

“The sight of so many candles gave me chills!” said Mr. Olwell, who was visiting Fatima for the first time. “It was also a singular honor for me to represent Our Lady’s American devotees by carrying the American flag during the procession.” With the dedicated help of Mr. Luiz Augusto Rodrigues Ferreira and Mr. Felipe Barandiaran, the pilgrims carried the America Needs Fatima “name banner” in the procession as well. The banner bore the names of over 6,500 ANF members who helped make the pilgrimage possible.

May 2024 - Banner Procession

Anniversary of the 1st Fatima Apparition

The next day, May 13, the pilgrims offered Our Lady over 400 fresh red roses, a large multi-colored bouquet of flowers and a large wreath made up of over 9,000 small silk roses. They also presented over 7,000 consecration pledges from ANF members who made their Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Finally, they lit three large candles made from the small candles sent in from all across America by ANF devotees.

Banner, Wreath, Intentions - Fatima, May 2024

As rain showered down on departing pilgrims in the Cova da Iria, Mr. Olwell and Mr. Gorre made their way to the Basilica of the Holy Rosary to pay their respects at the burial place of Saints Jacinta and Francisco of Fatima.

Grateful for the opportunity to be in Fatima during the May 13 commemoration, they ended their pilgrimage by offering more rosaries, asking Our Lady to bring the triumph of her Immaculate Heart soon and for the intentions of all her faithful ANF devotees. “Being able to see the places where the events of 1917 took place really helped me get a better sense of the importance of Our Lady’s message at Fatima,” Mr. Olwell said. “Now, whenever I recount the story of Our Lady of Fatima during our ANF Home Visitation Program, I can tell people I saw those places and prayed the rosary with hundreds of thousands of pilgrims just as Our Lady asked us to do.”