The traditional Procession of Our Lady of Fatima is held every year on the evening of May 13th in Macao and it has by now become part of the city’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. This year also, the procession started from St Dominic’s Church after the celebration of a Mass presided over by the Bishop, and journeyed through the streets of the city to the hill Chapel of Our Lady of Penha. Along the way, thousands of devotees accompanied the image of Our Lady of Fatima, while singing and praying the Rosary in three alternating languages (Portuguese, English and Chinese). Three children (two young girls and a boy), donned in Portuguese costumes, walked just behind the image: they represent the three sheep-tending children who witnessed the apparitions of the Virgin in Fatima in 1917. Close to the image also were the Bishop, some priests, and our Dominican community with the student brothers wearing their habits. The procession ended at Penha Chapel with the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a prayer of consecration to Our Lady and the solemn blessing from that suggestive hill overlooking Macao peninsula and Mainland China. Truly inspiring was to see the vast crowd of pilgrims engrossed in meditative silence and prayer while walking in the procession. Worth praising, too, was the excellent organization of the whole event, with the traffic order and safety of the participants ensured by the local police. May Our Lady of Fatima continue keeping under her maternal care the city of Macau, the entire Church and, needless to say, our Dominican community, which invokes her as their main Patroness.

Pictures: courtesy of Antonius Photoscript