Our Lady of Fatima Procession 2024 in Macau

Cynthia Montemayor

This year’s annual procession honoring Our Lady of Fátima in Macau took place on its liturgical feast day on May 13, 2024. The evening celebration attracted a large number of local and international Catholic devotees.

The event commemorates a series of Marian apparitions witnessed by three shepherd children in the Portuguese village of Fátima in 1917. Looking back on its history, this religious event was organized in Macau in 1929, and from then on, the procession was held every year on May 13, where devotees carry the statue of Our Lady of Fátima from St. Dominic’s Church to the hilltop Penha Chapel, now a Trappistine monastery.

The celebration began at 5 pm with a mass presided by Bishop Stephen Lee of the Catholic Diocese of Macau. The mass was celebrated in both Chinese and Portuguese. This was followed by a procession, led by three children dressed as the original young shepherds of Fátima. The faithful devotedly participated in the candle-lit procession, praying the rosary and singing hymns to Mary.

Although many Catholics have given at least a cursory glance to these apparitions of Our Lady, and possess the devotion to join the procession, very few know about Fátima in detail. Perhaps the most basic question is: Why should we learn about Mary’s appearances at Fátima? True, the Fátima message adds nothing to, but rather complements, our Catholic faith. It is in accord with God’s revelation to us. It offers to us a contemporary lens through which we may consider Our Lord and all that has been disclosed about Him and His benevolent plan for us.

Our Lord, fully aware of the challenges of our era, allowed His mother to grace our earth with her appearances to Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta. Christ gave Mary this singular mission: to go to Fátima to proclaim the holy Gospel in a way that would attract modern ears.

Since God never does anything without reason, He intends for the Fátima message to take root deep within us. He has done His part. The time has come for us to do ours. Gratitude is always to be our response to who God is and what He does for us. That He sent Our Lady to Fátima in order to remind us of what is truly important is yet another reason to be thankful to Him.

What most concerns the Mother of God is our everlasting salvation. She wants each of us to be able to enter paradise! Such maternal compassion for her sons and daughters can only move our hearts to joy and gratitude. The best and most lasting appreciation that we can show Our Lord for the Fátima message is our sincere conversion. Nothing compares to our genuine change of heart.