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Book: The Relational Dynamics of Enchantment and Sacralization

Chapter: 8. Marian Apparitions: The Construction of Authenticity and Governance of Sacralization in the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in Portugal

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.30131


Sacred visions, supernatural visitations and revelations appearing to chosen visionaries have for millennia been an important, if relatively marginal, form of Christian religiosity. One of the key concerns regarding these supernatural phenomena is their authenticity and their particular forms of sacrality. This chapter focuses on the ways in which the shrine of Fátima in Portugal grew into a sacred configuration that coalesced in the form of Marian sacrality, combining specific social, iconic and political elements involving different agents and agencies (e.g. charismatic virtuosos and their followers, as well as religious, political, and administrative institutions), but also objects and temporal/spatial patterns “charged” with spiritual power and significance (e.g. consecrated places, sacred statues and relics, holy dates, and sacred and powerful rites such as certain prayers and rituals). Specifically, this chapter concerns the social definition and governance of Marian sacrality in Fátima, Portugal.

Chapter Contributors

  • Nora Machado des Johansson ( - nmjohansson) 'Lisbon University Institute and University of Gothenburg'