"My Favourite Island Church

- Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman CBE (1906-1984)




On the 13th May 1917 three shepherd children witnessed the first apparition of

The Blessed Virgin Mary at the Cova da Iria near the village of Fátima in northern Portugal. The Lady in white appeared upon an olive tree sorrounded by a rey of bright light and said 'Do not be afraid, I will not harm you. I come from heaven."


Our Lady of The Holy Rosary of Fátima as she became known, appeared five more times until her final appearance on the 13th October when  many of the 70,000 people present also reported seeing strange things happening to the Sun (The Miracle of The Sun), whic'began to turn as if projecting in each direction bands of light of each colour that lit and coloured the clouds."


Mary appeared to the three children; Siblings St Francisco de Jesus Marto

(1908 –  1919), St. Jacinta de Jesus Marto (1910 – 1920) and their cousin Lúcia dos Santos (1907–2005) every 13th day from May to October exept in the month of August due to their improsenment as hooligans by the then dictatorship administration. St. Francisco and St. Jacinta learned from the Blessed Mary of

their fait and that they would be brought to heaven.


The siblings eventually became victims of the great 1918 influenza epidemic that swept through Europe. By the 4th April 1919 St. Francisco fell ill, declining hospital treatment he died at home later that day. St. Jacinta was moved from one hospital

to another in an attempt to save her life, which she insisted was futile.


She developed purulent pleurisy and endured an operation in which two of her

ribs were removed. Long after she remained in hospital, converting the many sinners and after taking her last Holy Communion on the 19 February 1920 by the


the apparition of the Virgin Mother

hospital chaplain, she confessed that the following night she would die alone in which she did.


Their cousin Lúcia de Jesus Rosa dos Santos outlived her cousins and spent her latter days blind, deaf and in pain at

the Convent of the Discalced Carmelites in Coimbra, Portugal where she died on the 13th February 2005 aged 97.


Lúcia moved to Porto in 1921, and at 14 was admitted as a boarder in the school of the Sisters of St. Dorothy in Vilar,

on the city's outskirts. On October 24, 1925, she entered the Institute of the Sisters of St. Dorothy as a postulant in the convent

in Tui, Pontevedra, Spain, just across the northern Portuguese border. Lúcia professed her first vows on the 3rd October 1928,

and her perpetual vows on October 3, 1934, receiving the name "Sister María das Dores" (Mary of the Sorrows). It was in 1946

when she returned to Portugal and visited Fátima incognito. As a devout Catholic-Carmelite nun she spent her life in prayer.

Her funeral much the same as her cousins Saints’ Francisco and Jacinta was held at the Basílica de Nossa Senhora do Rosário

(est.1954) near the Chapel of the Apparitions on the Sanctuary of Fátima – the former Cova da Iria where the Virgin Mary appeared.

Her funeral took place on 15th February 2005 where Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI said that she would go to Heaven and

that this day would be declared a day of national mourning in Portugal.On the Fátima Centeenary in 2017 Pope Francis canonised Saints’ Francisco, Jacinta and Sister Lúcia – given the title ‘Servant of God’.All three children are buried at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary

of Fátima.

Fátima Centeenary at St. Alban's

Fátima, known for its Healing waters from the Sanctuaries blessed fountains is known to have Healing Properties.

Much like other Blessed fountains such as Lourdes in France, Spain's Guadalupe -Cáceres and our own shrine of

Walsingham,we at St. Alban's use the waters of Fátima,which have been imported from the Holy Shrine.



Occasionally using the waters from Lourdes we always fill our church Stoup with the waters from Walsingham in which the Virgin Mother appeared to Richeldis de Faverches in 1061.


Our Stoups' (holy water fonts) are found at the church entrance, vestery and in the Lady Chapel, used to remind us of our Baptism and the pureness of prayer.


As Part of our Fátima celebrations we held special services each month reciting the Rosary just

as the Virgin mother has asked. Joining with our friends from The Church of the Good Shepherd - Lake and our friends from the Roman Catholic Church our solumn services acompanied with traditional Portuguese delicacy's - the famous Pastel de nata brought from Portugal created a devotion to the historic land which the Virgin mother choose to speak the Good News and warn us of the days ahead.


In Celebration of Fátima - Our Statue of Our Lady of Fátima was given to St. Alban's Church by our Churchwarden who has close ties with Portugal and brougt it back from Fátima for our

Lady Chapel where it was blessed on this historic date.



Guest speaker at one of our Fátima services,

Roman Catholic Deacon-in-training, Dr. Paul Severn

and our Deacon Corinne Smith with our statue of Saint Alban      


+44 (0) 1983 300 421

© Copyright 2018 St. Alban's Church - Ventnor, Isle of Wight.    All Rights Reserved.

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St. Alban's Church, St. Alban's Road,

Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 1DE

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The Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima Official Site: www.fatima.pt

Santuário de Fátima, Apartado 31, 2496-908 Fátima, Distrito de Santarém, Portugal


Rectorate Fr. Carlos M. P. Cabecinhas           Tel: +351 249 539 600