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Reguengo do Fetal (Portugal) c.1100

   
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Traditionally Approved

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1000 - 1099 1500 - 1599
1100 - 1199 1600 - 1699
1200 - 1299 1700 - 1799
1300 - 1399 1800 - 1899

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Unapproved Apparitions

Visionary: a shepherdess
Title: Our Lady of the Ferns (Nossa Senhora do Fetal)

In the place called Reguengo do Fetal is located one of the most renowned and ancient sanctuaries of the region: the Church of Our Lady of the Faith, or of the Ferns.

The first apparition is clouded in mystery. It is not known when it took place or when the first chapel of Our Lady of the Ferns was built. The legend goes like this:

In a time of great drought and hunger a shepherd girl was crying near her small flock of sheep. In the middle of a clump of ferns (uma feteira) there appeared a woman who asked her:

-- Why are you crying, my little one?

-- I am hungry

-- Go and ask your mother for bread.

-- I have already done so, but she has no bread to give to me.

-- Go on, go home and ask your mother again; tell her it was a woman that told you that the ark has bread.

Obeying the Lady, the little girl went home and gave the message to her mother, who quickly went to the ark where she kept the bread. She found it full of bread that was so "good and beautiful that it seemed not to have been made on Earth".

Having eaten, the happy shepherd girl returned to the place of the apparition (where later the Little Chapel of the Remembrance was built), and again she saw the Lady, who spoke to her like this: "Go to the people of your village and tell them that I am the Mother of God and I want them to build me a chapel in this place where I will be worshipped ("louvada" in the original). The little girl gave the people in her village the Lady's orders. The villagers made their way to the site and found there a tiny and beautiful image of the Holy Virgin next to which was a miraculous spring. They erected a small chapel and with the water of the spring many miracles took place.

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