Our Lady of Fatima Archway

Location: Ramp running between new Learning Centre & Convent/Year 12 Building

Totem Text: An apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary presented herself to three children in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal, asking them to devote themselves to the Holy Trinity. Following two further apparitions, Mary became known as Our Lady of Fatima to the locals and focus for prayer for faith and devotion.

About the Art

The 'Our Lady of Fatima' archway was originally installed over the statue of Mary, and later relocated to the path that ran down from the Convent to the eastern end of the Boarding House (circa 1970's-2010's). That move was done due to the some landscaping works to secure the base upon which the statue of Mary sits. The archway was preserved upon demolition on the Boarding House in December 2018, refurbished by re-galvanising the frame, and reinstalled on the ramp that runs from the Convent and Year 12 Building to the new Learning Centre.

About Our Lady of Fatima

Over 100 years have passed since the apparitions of Our Lady to the three shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal, where the Blessed Mother appeared once each month from May 13 until October 13, 1917.

The message of Fatima highlights many central truths and devotions of the Catholic faith: the Trinity, the Eucharist, Penance, the Rosary, and sacrifices for the conversion of sinners. There is special emphasis on the Immaculate Heart of Mary because Mary is full of God's grace and is all pure. She has the heart of a mother who cares for her children and wishes them to be saved by her Son, Jesus.

Fatima is one of the most significant of all Marian apparitions. Along with Guadalupe (Dec. 12) and Lourdes (Feb. 11), it is one of three Marian apparitions honoured with a feast day by the Catholic Church. In 2002, Pope St. John Paul II added the May 13 feast of Our Lady of Fatima to the general Roman calendar. It is estimated that some 4-5 million people visit Fatima each year.

It is understood that the 'Our Lady of Fatima' archway could have been erected in 1917 to recognise the significance of the apparitions of Our Lady, which also reflected the piety of the time. Many Presentation Convents, especially in Ireland and in Australia, feature similar dedications to Mary and her appearances at Fatima, Guadaloupe or Lourdes. These dedications often depicted Mary, praying while standing in a recess or grotto, encircled by flowers or natural surrounds.

Nano Nagle's spirituality transformed her own heart and life and after a busy day's work educating the poor, she would return to her Cottage in Cove Lane to pray for hours on end. Given the Sister's connection to Mary (the congregation of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary), Marian prayer, particularly the Rosary, has been an established form of prayer in the College community.

The Our Lady of Fatima Archway was originally situated over the statue of Mary in the Iona Convent Garden as depicted in the image. It is now located between the Convent and the new building.


Legion of Mary at their Headquarters at 36 Windsor St., Perth, 6000

Presentation Sisters' Archives

Nagle Education Alliance Australia. (2016). Induction Module 2: Presentation Spirituality. Retrieved September 2020 from www.neaa.com.au

Our Lady of Fatima