The Procession of Our Lady of Fatima is an annual event held every 13th of May in honour of a sighting of the Virgin Mary in Portugal in 1917. The event kick starts at 5 pm with benediction followed by mass in Portugese at the St. Dominic Church in Senado Square.
At this time of the year, Macau is very hot and humid. In a church filled to the brim with worshippers, the temperature can be unbearable. My advice, if you don’t mind standing for 2.5 hours, try to stay near the windows (it is also where the fans are!).
Start of the procession
Despite the soreness on our legs, we were exhilarated when the procession finally started. White candles can be bought at the entrance of the church (buy it before the start of the event). As with tradition, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima carried by 4 ladies dressed in all white, led the way to the final destination, the Chapel of Our Lady of Penha.
The entire procession was on foot and it took 1.5 hours. The procession was accompanied with continuous chanting of the rosary from one mystery to the other; and lit candles that were rekindled many times due to the frequent strong gust of wind.
The grand finale of the procession was climbing the steep (almost 40 degrees) slope up Penha Hill, where the Chapel of Our Lady of Penha is located.
The journey though tiring (we almost couldn’t feel our legs), was made easier with the nice evening breeze and the warmth that the other faithfuls extended to each other (and to us) during the procession. Despite being strangers, everyone helped one another to light up blown out candles, watched out for the children and elderly with walking sticks and encouraged each other when the going gets tough. These acts of kindness really livened up our spirit and temporarily helped us forget our tiredness.