Notre-Dame of Fatima – Pilgrimage of the Ascension Thursday
Since 1968, every Thursday of the Ascension, nearly 20,000 people, Catholics, the majority of Portuguese origin, come to give thanks to the one they worship and cherish among all, “Nossa Senhora de Fatima”, Our Lady of Fatima. A mass is celebrated in her honor, followed by a procession of pilgrims.
It is on the heights of Wiltz in the north of Luxembourg, at a place called “op Bässent”, that a modest sanctuary was erected in July 1952 by inhabitants of Wiltz. Indeed, while they were hidden in a cellar during the terrible battle of the Ardennes, they had promised to thank Our Lady of Fatima if they survived the war.
Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, this sanctuary is at the origin of one of the most important religious pilgrimages of the Grand Duchy, with that of the Octave to Notre-Dame de Luxembourg or the dancing procession of Echternach.
The pilgrimage has now become the expression of an intense popular and family jubilation, which harmoniously combines pious devotion, cultural tradition and community folklore.
Our Lady of Fatima is celebrated all over the world by communities of Portuguese, since the Virgin Mary had appeared several times to 3 children in Fatima, Portugal. The feast of Our Lady of Fatima is nevertheless fixed by Rome on May 13, date of the first appearance in 1917.