The Capelinha Statue
In 1917, from May to October, in Cova da Iria, the three little shepherds, Lúcia, Jacinta and Francisco, saw above a small holm oak "a Lady brighter than the sun" who gave them the "message of Fatima”. Since that year, 1917, driven by the Catholic faith, the miracle of the apparitions and the inspiring message of Fatima are spread worldwide, with the main ambassador the Image of Our Lady of Fatima Peregrina, that has traveled the five continents.
However, the image of Our Lady of Fatima which is venerated in the Chapel of the Apparitions of Fatima’ Sanctuary, work of the saint maker José Ferreira Thedim, and offered in 1920, by Gilberto Fernandes dos Santos, leaves very rarely, only on special occasions.
It is protected by a bell jar, on a column located in the exact spot where it was the holm oak in which Lúcia, Francisco and Jacinta saw and heard Our Lady. Shortly before midnight, every day, is removed and taken to another location, returning only in the morning before the first celebration.
The most attentive have already noticed that the Lady of Fatima "Capelinha” has two crowns. The silver gilt crown, used daily and the "Precious Crown" also called "Rich" crown, in gold and precious stones, for the days with great celebrations, particularly on the 13th day, from May to October.
|Our Lady of Fatima Capelinha with |
Crown in Gold and Precious Stones
|Our Lady of Fatima Capelinha |
with Crown in Golden Silver
The symbol of the power of the Crown, which Our Lady of Fatima displays, didn’t appear with Her at the time of the apparition to the little shepherds of Fatima.
The creation of these crowns, only copies, dates back to 1941, when a group of Portuguese women carried out a national campaign jewelry gathering to manufacture a queen’s crown intended to be offered to Our Lady of Fatima, in thanksgiving for the fact that Portugal didn’t entered the Second World War. They asked for jewelry and not money, to materialize the crown directly with the gifts of each person.
This gathering resulted in meeting with a significant number of jewels in gold, silver and precious stones that were delivered to Casa Leitão & Irmão, the former crown jewelers, for its production. As the generosity of the offers was so great, in the year of 1942, have been prepared for free, two crowns: one in silver gilt and another in gold and precious stones. Both queen’s crowns, as Our Lady had been crowned Queen of Portugal in 1646, by D. João IV.
|Crown in Gold and Precious Stones – 1942||Crown in Golden Silver – 1942|
For three months, worked on the crowns 12 jewelers/goldsmiths, that from the total or partial butchering of the jewelry, fused gold and dug 2,992 precious stones, according to drawings created by Casa Leitão, which highlight eight rods of gold, corresponding heraldically to a queen's crown.
This grand and glorious work resulted in a precious work of the Portuguese Jewelery known as the "Crown of Our Lady of Fatima", which is the most remarkable work of the twentieth century portuguese jewelery and simultaneously the best known worldwide.
The golden crown, that weights 1200g it is enriched by 2,992 precious stones, including 1400 diamonds, 950 rhinestones, 313 pearls, 260 turquoises, 33 sapphires, 17 rubies, 13 small emerald, a big emerald, a amethyst and four aquamarines that form the four large rectangular transparent buds at the base of the crown.
The Rich Crown of Our Lady of Fatima became an important gemological testimony, in addition to its devotional value at the Marian cult that would acquire over the years.
The Coronation of Our Lady of Fatima
On 13th October, 1942, a group of Portuguese women in representation of the Portuguese people offers the golden crown to the sculpture of the Chapel of the Apparitions in gratitude for their husbands and children were spared the drama of the 2nd World War.
But it is only on 13th May, 1946, at Fatima, that Cardinal Benedict Aloisi Masella, Pontifical Legate, formally crown for the first time the sculture of Our Lady of Fatima.
The coronation of Our Lady of Fatima is reflected in a tombstone, by the entrance of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary’s presbytery, in Fatima’ Sanctuary.
Pope John Paul II and the bullet attack
On 13th May, 1981, Pope John Paul II suffers an attack at St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, attributing their salvation to the intervention of Our Lady of Fatima, which had him protected.
On March 25th, 1984, Karol Wojtyla does at St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, the World Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, before the sculpture of Virgin of Fatima, which traveled at the request of the Pope, purposely from the Chapel of the Apparitions at Fatima.
The deceased Supreme Pontiff met with the then Bishop of Fatima, D. Alberto Cosme do Amaral, and offered the bullet fired by the Turkish Ali Agca and pierced his body in the attack that was victim, as gratitude to the Virgin for save his life, and said at the time "I have here a gift to Our Lady".
The “Mystery” of the Crown
After some time looking for the best place to store such precious object, the Bishop and the Canctuary’s Parson decided to imbed it in the Rich Crown of Our Lady, used only in the most solemn ceremonies.
Casa Gomes, from Póvoa de Varzim, was entrusted to carry out its placement. When the experts were placing the bullet in the Virgin’s Crown and were looking for a place to fit it without compromising the art of the Crown, found out that, interestingly in the inside of the original manufacture of the crown, in 1942, and on the place where are joined the eight queen rods, immediately beneath the sky blue orb, was forming a void that was the perfect fit and adequated to the bullet’s caliber, so it was placed there by crimping in 1989, where it remains today.
And the amazing coincidence contributed to the mystery surrounding the crown of Our Lady of Fatima and the special relationship that John Paul II had with Mariano phenomenon.
The crown of Our Lady of Fatima is probably "the most important jewelry made in Portugal”.
Known as "precious crown", is placed on the sculpture of Our Lady only in the peregrination aniversaries or other considered special occasions, being in the remaining days stored in the building of the Sanctuary’s Rectory, in front of the Chapel of the Apparitions, which can be seen in the open to public exhibition "Fatima Light and Peace ', that displays representative examples of the offers made to Our Lady or to her Sanctuary.