An Post, the state-owned provider of postal services in the Republic of Ireland, has issued a new stamp to mark the centenary of the apparitions of Fatima.
The stamp, designed by 2b:creative, features a statue of Our Lady which stands in the personal Oratory of the Primate of All-Ireland, the Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin.
Archbishop Martin purchased the statue in 2015, when he led a pilgrimage from Armagh and Belfast to Fatima in preparation for the centenary of the
The international stamp (€1.35), along with a specially designed first day cover envelope, is available from main post offices, from the stamp counters at Dublin’s GPO or online at www.irishstamps.ie. The first day cover includes a quote from the sixth and final apparition at Fatima.
The Fatima apparitions have a particular resonance in Ireland where devotion to Our Lady has always been high. Thousands of Irish pilgrims have been visiting Fatima each year since the 1920s.
The Fatima apparitions began on 13th May 1917, when three Portuguese children, Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto, reported seeing what they described as a ‘lady more brilliant than the sun’.
They reported that she asked them to pray every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the Great War.
She told the children she was ‘Our Lady of The Rosary’.
The children claimed to have seen Our Lady in a total of six apparitions between 13th May and 13th October 1917.
The apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima are famous for the three-part secret they carried. Of these, the ‘so called’ Third Secret is the most famous, because it remained undisclosed for many years.
The secrets were revelations and prophecies about the future of the Church and principally about the conversion of Russia.
Reader offer: Win your own Fatima first day cover
The Universe has ten first day covers of the Fatima stamp to give away to ten lucky readers. To be in with a chance of winning one of these highly sought after stamps send two original Universe headers/straps (top of the front page) from either the 20th October, 27th October or 3rd November editions of The Universe, along with your name, address and any other contact details (phone/email) on a postcard to:
The Universe Fatima stamp competition
FAO: Nick Benson, Universe Media Group Ltd
Guardian Print Centre, Parkway
Longbridge Road, Manchester M17 1SN.
The closing date is Friday 10th November 2017 and terms and conditions apply.
Picture: Fatima first day cover.