Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 04 August |
Saint of the Day: St. John Vianney
home iconTravel
line break icon

Fatima: The other great colonnade of Catholic architecture

Shutterstock

Daniel Esparza - published on 05/12/17

Like St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sanctuary of Fatima welcomes those who visit with a marble “hug.”

A colonnade is a sequence of columns, but with the particularity that all columns are linked together by a common architrave. Of all of them, perhaps the most famous is the colonnade that seems to embrace the faithful who visit St. Peter’s Basilica, designed by the famous Renaissance artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

The colonnade of Bernini that surrounds St. Peter’s Square is, in fact, a practically independent element that was attached to the Basilica of St. Peter during one of its successive remodelings. The colonnade creates a space at a time enclosed and open, depending where the visitor stands: as you walk through the square, the imposing thickness of the columns creates the illusion of being a enclosed space, since the columns seem to overlap. However, if the visitor approaches any of the fountains in the square, the columns appear as separate, and one can see the rest of the Square and its surroundings through them.

But the one in the Vatican is not the only colonnade that receives pilgrims into a great Catholic sanctuary. In fact, in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima, a colonnade of 200 columns unites the main basilica with the buildings annexed to the enclosure. It is a setting made by the architect António Lino, which incorporates 14 altars among the 200 pillars of the colonnade. On each of these altars is an image from the Via Crucis, which usually culminates in a fifteenth station representing the Resurrection of Christ.

140 statues rest atop St. Peter’s colonnade. On Fatima’s, on the other hand, one finds only seventeen statues. Four of them represent the four great Portuguese saints, each statue more than three meters high: San Juan de Dios, San Antonio de Lisboa, San Juan de Brito and Blessed Nuno de Santa María. The others, which are smaller, represent other saints, almost all of them founders of religious orders, from St. Teresa of Jesus and Ignatius of Loyola to St. Simon Stock and St. Marcellin Champagnat. Even though it is considerably smaller than that of St. Peter’s, the colonnade of Fatima is still the preferred destination of around 4 million pilgrims every year.

See More Photos Here:

Tags:
ArtFatima
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Saint Mary of the Angels
Bret Thoman, OFS
All your sins will be forgiven if you go to a Franciscan church o...
2
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
3
CARLO ACUTIS
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
4
JEDZENIE
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
5
Philip Kosloski
Most priests can’t absolve these sins
6
ANTENUCCI
Ary Waldir Ramos Diaz
1st Feast of Our Lady of Silence is August 1
7
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.