Voz da Fátima: 100 years
Since its first publication, on 13th October 1922, the newspaper “Voz da Fátima” has been committed to divulging the phenomena and occurrences in Fátima. It has become a fundamental means of communication, not only for the believers, but also to publicize Fátima as the Altar of the World.
The audiovisual exhibit highlights the centennial celebration of the currently most widely-read catholic newspaper: over 62 thousand copies come out each month. The official information and training vehicle in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima is released both in digital format and in paper.
Since its creation, the oldest newspaper of the Sanctuary of Fátima publicizes the local phenomena in very detailed chronicles. Established in Cova da Iria, by Manuel Marques dos Santos, the local newspaper has been fundamental in a process which would eventually impose Fátima not only on the Church itself, but also on the national and world press.
The several issues of “Voz da Fátima” allow us to outline the history of the Sanctuary. Reading features like “Movimento no Santuário” (Movement at the Sanctuary) allows us to get to know about the people who came to the Altar of the World, whether they were believers, pilgrims or just curious.
The newspaper turned out to be a communication platform throughout the different times. The publication space open to the community, called “Comunicação de Graças” (Grace Communication), lets us know who the readers were as well as their worries or their sensations and feelings about Fátima.
Through “Voz da Fatima” it is possible to read Portugal's and the world's worries at each time, from the Second World War, to the Cold War or the April Revolution. The Peace theme is intensely dealt with, namely in what concerns the singling out of Pius XII, the Pope who consecrated the internationalization of Our Lady of Fátima by, in the middle of the World War, in 1942, speaking to the world in Portuguese to proclaim the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a request made by Our Lady during her apparition to the three little shepherds.
On 13th May 1946, Pope Pius XII is represented by Cardinal Aloisi Masella in Fátima for the crowning of the image of Our Lady.
In 1958, “Voz da Fátima” devoted its November issue to the memory of Pope Pius XII.
From 1940 on, with the impact of the disclosure of the first and second parts of Fátima's secret and with the changes in the geostrategic and geopolitical context as a consequence of the Cold War, Fátima's internationalization speeds up the pace.
As a response to the global dissemination of the Fátima phenomenon, the newspaper tries to reach the many believers spread around the world. 1946 witnessed the appearance of the first periodical publication of the Sanctuary in a foreign language. Publications in several languages, other than Portuguese, follow.
“Voz da Fátima” presents the supplement Holy Year, which intends to reflect on the jubilee and the ecclesiastical dynamics of the celebration, but at the same time exposes the political context of the country. This situation is particularly noticeable after the April Revolution, after the issue of May 1974. From then on it is possible to read the construction of the democratic regime starting from the theme of the Holy Year and to perceive the Church's position regarding the political movements. The Church highlights the importance of reconciliation, considering this to be a fundamental notion to achieve true democracy and true freedom.
The relevance of “Voz da Fátima” is also due to its exceptional potential of historical information. The pages of the newspaper are a window to the most relevant moments of the hundred years of existence of the Marian Sanctuary. Quoting Marco Daniel Duarte, director of the Sanctuary's studies department: the newspaper Voz da Fátima is not an addition to the Sanctuary of Fátima. It is part of that building which is the Sanctuary itself (…). It is an institution within an institution.