Fatima or Fatma?

No matter. When friends of ours buy or rent a new house, I always bring them a Hamse, also known as the Hand of Fatma, to protect them from evil.


Does the same as the evil eye, by the way and no house should be without one of those … you never can tell, can you?


Howevah (that’s my jazzy British accent), I am not talking about either of those, I am talking about Fatima in Portugal, which attracts thousands and thousands (if not millions) of devout Catholics all year round – like Lourdes in France – to find a cure for any and all diseases.


On May 13th 1917, Mary appeared in Cova da Iria and told three children


that on October 13th she would come back and tell the children and those who came with them what she wanted them to do. In view of a crowd of 70.000 people she did come back and told them she has had come to tell them to better their lives.

After a lot of talking back and forth, the church’s permission was given to make Fatima what it is today: a place where people go and burn candles in any shape possible, hoping to be cured. They even have ovens where they melt this kind of wax figurine. Rather horrible to watch, to be honest.


The square in front of the basilic is gigantic and beautiful, but sadly enough they loused up the façade of the church by building a bulletproof ‘cage’ for the visiting (then) Pope. The statue they made of him is rather beautiful, though.


Oh, speaking about candles of all shapes and forms: there were also many breasts, big, small, any size. Since, at the time, I just recently had a mastectomy, the three of us (hubs, daughter and I) had a rather hysterical laughing fit. No! I did not burn one.


May your house be safe from tigers… So far, mine has been, but I do have a Hamse. To be honest, I have several of them.


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