Every year on May 13, the Catholic community awaits on this day the Procession of Our Lady of Fatima (Procissão de Nossa Senhora de Fátima), an intangible cultural heritage of Macau, which has already been held in the “City of the Name of God” for nine decades since 1929. The celebrations in the territory on this day – Mass and Procession – are in tune with those of the Shrine of Fatima, in Portugal, with the intention to pray for the peace of the world and for the renewal of all human race. It is notable that this procession today brings together faithful from the various corners of the world; some residents in the territory or in the vicinity, others from more distant regions, who purposely come to Macau for the Procession.
The arrangement of the procession in Macau has some peculiarities of its own that were born of the devotion and customs of the local community. The platform with white roses carrying the pilgrim image of Our Lady of Fatima is usually carried by white and veiled ladies, members of the Congregation of Our Lady of Fatima (founded in 1929). Close to them, we have three children who symbolize the shepherds – Lúcia, St Jacinta and St Francisco, dressed as at the time of the apparitions. Other children also join this group, dressed in white symbolizing angels that accompany the Celestial Mother.
The route of the procession followed that of previous years. The first time it was held in 1929, the procession was made only around the church of Saint Dominic. In 1930, the procession concluded in the Penha Hill, where the Bishop professes a prayer of consecration of all the faithful and of the territory to Our Lady and, raising the Blessed Sacrament, blessing those present and Macau. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
【Photography】Ivan Leong ©️ O Clarim