Benedict XVI - Portugal 2010

Basilica

Begun in 1928 and consecrated on October 7, 1953, its 15 altars are dedicated to the 15 mysteries of the Rosary.

The painting above the high altar depicts the Message of Our Lady to the little shepherds, prepared by the Angel of Portugal, through their encounter with Christ in the Eucharist. The Bishop of the diocese is shown kneeling on the left side, and the figures of Pope Pius XII (who consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1942, and whose Legate crowned the Statue of Our Lady in 1946), of Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI.

Scenes of the apparitions are represented in stained glass, as well as invocations from the Litany of Our Lady.

In the four corners of the Basilica interior are placed the statues of the great apostles of the Rosary and of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: St. Anthony Claret, St. Dominic of Gusman, St. John Eudes and St. Stephen, King of Hungary.

The tombs of Francisco and Jacinta are in the Basilica, and, in the chancel, are the mortal remains of D. José Alves Correia da Silva, first Bishop of Leiria after its restoration in 1920.

The monumental organ, mounted in 1952, has about 12 thousand pipes.

Printed with permission from the Santuário de Fátima website.