This simple, but beautiful shrine (see further pictures below) comprises of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima along with statues of the two youngest (non martyred) Saints within the Catholic Church; Jacinta de Jesus Marto (11 March 1910 – 20 February 1920),and her brother Francisco de Jesus Marto (11 June 1908 – 4 April 1919). Their cousin Lucia dos Santos (1907–2005) who died only relatively recently may yet be canonised a Saint. She lived out her life in a closed Order as a Carmelite Nun. (See historic pictures below)
In 1917 between the months of May & October, the three shepherd children had three visitations and messages from Our Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God at the water well at Lucia's house in Cova da Iria, Portugal. The children tended and cared for the sheep in a family field. Prior to the recorded visitations, they had also had three apparitions of an Angel who presented himself as the Angel of Portugal. On May 13, 1917, around noon, the three little shepherds saw an apparition of a beautiful lady "made of light, holding a rosary in her hand". It is told that suddenly there was lightning, and the children, Lucia Santos and Jacinta and Francisco Marto, began to run for shelter. Just above an oak tree, they saw again the vision of the woman, later known as Our Lady of The Rosary of Fatima, who told them not to be afraid. She said: "I come from Heaven". They saw the lady a total of six more times, the last in October 1917. She told them to pray the rosary to obtain the end of the Great War. The children were ridiculed and threatened with death by their local political authorities, but the children stayed loyal and faithful to our Blessed Lady despite all of the trials they endured from disbelievers of evil intent.
A small chapel (which was later popularly called Chapel of The Apparitions, was built at Cova da Iria, the site of the childrens' apparitions in the 1920s. People were already making devotional pilgrimages there. In October 1930, the Bishop of Leiria, Dom Jose`Alves Correia da Silva, gave his seal of approval to the reported apparitions of Our lady of Fatima, writing in a pastoral letter: "The visions of the children in the Cova da Iria are worthy of belief".
Since the 'Holy See' officially approved Our Lady of Fátima apparitions and the messages given to the three shepherd children, the place has become an important centre of pilgrimage. People from all over the world travel to it in a spirit of faith and penance. The shrine here at St Peter & St Paul will hopefully mean people can attend and reflect on such miraculous events. And, through reflective prayer become ever closer to God.
The rededication of our Shrine here at Ss Peter & Paul church in Newport, was conducted by Bishop Mark, Fr Anthony & Deacon David on the evening of 20th May 2017, along with the Church's Saturday congregation.
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