Our Lady of Fatima Festa brings community together for festivities, prayer

Our Lady of Fatima Festa brings community together for festivities, prayer
Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 12:28 AM EDT
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LUDLOW, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -With the labor day weekend comes Festa! Many are traveling to Ludlow this weekend for the our Lady of Fatima Parish’s annual anniversary celebration. To commemorate the occasion, a mass and candlelight procession were held through the community.

Rain or shine for over 70 years, many people spend their labor day weekend at the grounds of our Lady of Fatima, but along with the music and prayer comes reflection.

“In Portugal we say that we have three fs to our culture its food, futbol soccer, and Fatima,” said David Costa, Vice President of the Festa committee.

This Labor Day weekend, many are heading to Ludlow for the annual our Lady of Fatima Festa. Over the course of the holiday weekend, the parish grounds are filled with food, music, dancing and rides, to commemorate the church’s establishment.

“What brings me here today is family, friends our Portuguese culture. We love he food we just love the Portuguese community,” said Michael Durate of Wapole, Mass.

Costa told Western Mass News that the event requires more than 150 volunteers. But, the celebrations with thousands of guests make it worth it.

“We do it with love for our parish for our community for our culture,” Costa said.

But amidst the Festa fun comes reflection. On Sunday, the music and rides came to a pause as the community gathered for a mass, held with Bishop William Byrne of the Diocese of Springfield. Followed by a Candlelight vigil throughout the neighborhood.

“This is a way for other Portuguese communities to all come together and pay homage to the patroness of Portugal which is our Lady of Fatima,” said Costa.

Costa said its his favorite part of the Festa is when they pray for peace. He explained this prayer is needed now more than ever.

“The Lady of Fatima was always about peace and especially in today’s world with what’s going on in the Ukraine and other parts of the world the message of Fatima is probably as just as relevant today...So the message stands strong today, it’s just a beautiful moment that we can offer an hour just be peaceful and pray and asking for that peace in the world it’s a beautiful site,” explained Costa.

Western Mass News traveled to Festa goers who made the pilgrimage to Ludlow for prayer, including Giglieola Lima, who traveled all the way from Virginia with her family.

“It’s a very strong tradition as the background we have as catholic to come we’re very devoted to the Virgin of Fatima,” said Lima.

Lima said it’s a way for her family to feel connected to their heritage.

“We feel a little bit closer to home to Portugal,” she said.

Festa is going on until midnight Sunday, but you have one more chance to check out the festivities Monday for its last day from 12 p.m.-9 p.m.