A Brief History Of The Miraculous Fountain At Fatima
Recently one of our dedicated workers was in the hospital suffering from kidney stones. The doctors tried to remove them surgically but couldn't, and our friend was in danger of losing her kidney. But, after drinking Fatima water, the stones dissolved and disappeared! The doctors were amazed. No operation was needed, and our friend returned home. Clearly, Our Lady intervened to save Her dedicated worker.
Several cures through Our Lady of Fatima and Her Miraculous Fatima water have been reported to The Fatima Crusader. A number of our readers have inquired about the Miraculous Fatima Water. We publish here a brief history of this water, taken mostly from Frere Michel's Volume II of Toute la Vérité Sur Fatima.
From the very beginning of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin to the three children, the Cova da Iria had become a center of pilgrimages for people all over Portugal. Within a few years thousands of pilgrims were coming not only from Portugal but also from all over Europe, and even as far away as the Americas.
One of the major difficulties for the pilgrims at this time was the lack of water. The villagers had only enough water for themselves in their wells. There was no source of water for the thousands of people coming to Fatima on Pilgrimage except the rain itself and a little pond known as the barreiro whose waters were very dirty. It was from this pond that Jacinta, in order to make a great sacrifice for sinners would sometimes take a drink of water.
The phenomenal growth in devotion to Our Lady of Fatima soon attracted the attention and pastoral concern of the newly appointed bishop, His Excellency Bishop Jose da Silva. On September 12, 1921, he came to visit Fatima and the Cova for the first time.
"I asked the villagers," Bishop da Silva recounted later, "how the pilgrims were managing to obtain water for their drinking and washing. They told me that it was a cause of disputes between the pilgrims and the villagers, because the villagers refused to allow their wells to be emptied. I told them, "I do not want members of my diocese arguing among themselves, especially regarding the Most Holy Virgin." And I asked the ever devoted Mr. Carreira to dig out a well at the lowest part of the ground which forms the Cova.
An unexpected solution was found to this difficult problem of water. Almost two months after the Bishop's visit, the digging began on November 9, 1921. Let us listen to the charming narrative of Marie Carreira:
"At the beginning, the men thought of digging the well at the foot of the fig tree, eighty meters from the Capelinha, the little chapel. But, finally it was the idea of Jose Alves which was adopted. Father Marques dos Santos, the parish priest of St. Catherine, and the archpriest of Olival were there. 'In my opinion,' said Jose Alves, 'we will never dig a well here!' 'In that case, where?' asked the archpriest. 'There!…' And Jose Alves showed them the place where the Cova would be at its deepest point. 'Even if there is no rain for a month or more,' he said, 'here there is always some dampness and a few reeds.' Later he had the habit of saying with pride: 'Yes, this is the place where they dug the well, by my will and good pleasure!'"
"But, after only half a day of hard work, they were obstructed by stone. 'Now what are we going to do?' asked the priests. 'Now, we will blow out the stone! … I will immediately get the necessary instruments.' Before they got their tools, all by itself, plenty of water appeared. But the well stayed unfinished and uncovered. It stayed like that until the next year."
"Did the water come miraculously?" asked Father de Marchi. This was in any case the impression of the local inhabitants and also of the pilgrims, who came in greater and greater numbers to draw water from the providential well. Certainly on this dry land no one could have expected to find water so easily.
"They would come here," relates the good Jose Alves, "with bottles and urns that were filled and brought back home for the sick to drink or to wash their wounds. Everybody had great confidence in that water, and Our Lady, as a reward, would make the Pain disappear and the wounds heal. Never did Our Lady work so many miracles as at that time…"
"Many came here — it was pitiful — with pus running down their legs. They would wash themselves and leave their dressing there, because Our Lady healed them. Others knelt down to drink this muddy water, and felt themselves healed of their internal pains."
"One could say," comments Father de Marchi, "that the Most Holy Virgin, in Her Motherly tenderness, was playfully making sport of men with their precepts of hygiene accomplishing miraculous prodigies with means that, humanly speaking, could only have been a cause of infection and complications."
What is truly remarkable is that the government, after decades of searching, spending thousands of dollars on experts and experimental wells, was not able to locate water any closer than six miles away. Yet the water from "Our Lady's well" continues to flow in abundance. The local people call it, "the miraculous water of Our Lady." The Fatima water continues to work marvelous cures to this day.