The Parish of Godshill, Isle of Wight

Come worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness

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First Centenary Event

This year is the Centenary Year of the miraculous apparitions of The Blessed Virgin Mary to the three young shepherd children near Fátima in Portugal.  True to its Anglo-Catholic traditions, Saint Alban's Church in Upper Ventnor began celebrating this Centenary last Saturday, 13th May, the 100th anniversary of the First Apparition, when we were joined by people of other parishes and denominations.  
The appearances at Fátima began at the height of the First World War, when Our Lady asked the children to pray for peace, for forgiveness, for holiness.  Our Lady came to them every month for a period of six months.  Word soon spread and more and more people attended these appearances, until on 13th October 1917 an estimated crowd of 70 000 were present. 
Despite opposition from the authorities at the time, Fátima soon became a place of pilgrimage and a small chapel was built on the site.  In the 1930s a great basilica was built nearby but the original chapel still remains as the principle shrine and the Sanctuary of Fátima.  The eldest of the three children, Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, became a Carmelite nun and lived until 2005.  The process of her canonisation has begun.  Her cousins, brother and sister Francisco and Jacinta de Jesus Marto died in the worldwide flu pandemic in 1919/20.  They were canonised by Pope Francis before a crowd of over one million in Fátima last Saturday.
The service at St. Alban's included a short film (courtesy of the internet) of the day’s events in Fatima and concluded with various snacks, custard tarts and fruits brought over freshly from Portugal the previous day.  Further services and events to celebrate - and respond to - the apparitions of Our Lady of The Rosary of Fátima are planned for the coming months.  We will do our best to keep you posted of these events, in the hope that you will join us.  Forgiveness, holiness and peace are as important now as they were then.