Created By: Nazareth College
Address: 1023 Swann Rd, Youngstown, NY 14174
The History of the Fatima Shrine
The shrine itself is dedicated to the Virgin Mary as she is an incredibly significant figure among catholic literature and represents the moment when she performed the Miracle of the Sun in front of approximately 70,000 witnesses. The story that precedes this is that the Virgin Mary gave three shepherd children instructions to commit acts of reparations and penance, and made visits for each of the 3 children, instilling one secret in them each. Upon returning to their village, those around them believe the story to be too farfetched to be taken seriously and the kids were then promptly jailed for their “outlandish” claims. The Children were eventually released and saw the Blessed Virgin again, in which they asked for permission to share the secrets. On her final visit, the aforementioned “Miracle of the Sun” was performed and the secrets were shared. It would later be apparent by 1941 that only 2 of the secrets would ever be known to the public as there is a written account of such an event on a letter by one of the children, but the 3rd secret will forever remain a mystery, as the surviving child at the time refused to reveal it.
The Niagara falls communities had a large piece of catholic influence and as such the Polish and Italian communities brought themselves together in the mid 1950’s and decided they wanted to support the Barnabite Fathers, which are a missionary faction which found their way into the region. (Clemens, 2020). Together, these groups came up with the idea and constructed the Shrine of Lady Fatima in present day Lewiston NY in order to commemorate and show importance to the aforementioned story. At first it was simply a single statue which made up the shrine, but later in 1960, the rest of the shrine complete with a basilica and a much larger property would become what we know of the shrine today.
Clemens, C. (2020, May 18). Our Lady of Fatima Shrine and Basilica in Lewiston, NY. Exploring Upstate. Retrieved December 10, 2022, from https://exploringupstate.com/basilica-of-the-national-shrine-of-our-lady-of-fatima/
Written by: Jack Hughes
This point of interest is part of the tour: Historic Religious Site Tour of Lewiston & Youngstown NY
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