In May 2017 Portugal celebrated the 100th anniversary of the ‘Our Lady of Fatima’ incident. It is the story of three shepherd children who were allegedly visited by The Virgin Mary.
The 100th anniversary of Fatima’s Marian apparition was a major event with the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope himself attended the 100th anniversary to make Saints of the children.
May 2017 was also the 10th anniversary of the Madeleine McCann story. Here are Kate and Gerry McCann attending the 90th anniversary event in May 2007.
Kate and Gerry McCann at the Portuguese shrine of Fatima.
‘Our Lady of Fatima’ also adheres to the messianic theme as Mary told Lucia (one of the children) of the importance of devotion to her Immaculate Heart.
The events of Fatima are also pertaining to the Roman Catholic church – another recurring theme of the Madeleine story.
Does this contemporary anniversary explain the timing and the location for the Madeleine McCann story? I think it does and the creators of the Madeleine McCann story confirm this in a number of different ways.
Fatima’s Witness Statement
Full witness statement: source
This is the key paragraph taken from that witness statement when the cleaner at the apartments where the McCanns were staying, Fatima, describes her sighting of the McCann family:
“She states that this took place on Sunday 29th April, just before she finished her morning work shift (13.30) as she had the afternoon off that day. At about 13.15 she went to help her mother, who was cleaning apartment I of the same block (5) situated on the first floor. She clearly remembers seeing the girl accompanied by her siblings and mother leave their apartment (5 A) and walk to the stairs leading to the floor above. She was very close to them at a distance of about 1 metre, observing their movements for a few moments because she was charmed by them. Madeleine led the way with a plate (perhaps plastic) in her hand bearing a piece of bread. As regards the clothes she was wearing she only remembers a skirt but cannot recall its description. She noted, because she thought them nice, the type of shoes she was wearing, tennis shoes, light in colour she thinks, which had little lights along the soles, which lit up each time she stepped on the ground. Her siblings followed behind her, wearing the same king of shoes and each holding a piece of bread in their hands, their mother followed behind them without holding their hands. She seems to remember that the mother was also carrying a plate. Moments afterwards, perhaps the time it took to close the apartment door, the father came out and also headed to the apartment upstairs. When asked, she does not remember whether the father pulled the door closed or locked it with a key.”
In this statement we are told that Fatima ‘was charmed by’ the sight of three children and their mother ‘Mary’ as they were leaving their apartment. As the three children walk they are lit up by lights.
The story of ‘Our Lady of Fatima’ tells us that three children in the town of Fatima witnessed the mother Mary. They describe seeing a woman “shedding rays of light.”
These were the first connections that I identified, but when we look a bit closer we can see the allusions to this event are numerous.
This is the first section of the key paragraph:
“… (13.30) as she had the afternoon off that day. At about 13.15 she went to help her mother, who was cleaning apartment I of the same block (5) situated on the first floor. She clearly remembers seeing the girl accompanied by her siblings and mother leave their apartment (5 A)”
All of these numbers are bunched together within a short space, but can you see the pattern? There are three number ones, three number threes and three number fives.
To make this allusion easier to spot, the writer twice makes-up the number 13 for us.
The anniversary of ‘Our Lady of Fatima’ is 13th May or 13/5.
In the statement, Fatima tells us the father was also with Kate ‘Marie’ and the three children, so how does he fit into all this? He doesn’t and this is signified by the carrying of the bread. The mother and three children are all carrying bread and Gerry is not. Bread has religious connotations and the writer uses this to highlight the characters he wants us to focus upon.
David’s Visit to the McCann’s Apartment
Angel of Peace
If you read the link about ‘Our Lady of Fatima’ you will have read about the Angel of Peace. The three children of Fatima later claimed that an angel came to them to prepare them for the arrival of Mary.
The Angel of Peace was “whiter than snow”.
If you recall David Payne’s interview with Ivor Messiah, David tells us that Gerry asked him to go to the McCann apartment to check on Kate. When David gets there he sees Kate and the three children and describes them as:
“…like angels, dressed in white, at peace”
David’s visit to the McCann apartment works alongside Fatima’s statement and completes the allusion to ‘Our Lady of Fatima.’ The author has also found another way to remove Gerry from the picture. David’s visit to the McCann apartment is taken from his police interview with DC Ivor Messiah.
The story draws the attention of the audience to David’s visit by having Kate and David contradict one another and themselves in a variety of ways. The most well known is that David says he was there for 3-5 minutes and he stepped into the apartment. Kate says he was there for 30 seconds and remained at the door. The writer creates a controversial incident / scene to attract unsuspecting critics, but the entire scene is fictional, it was created as an allusion to the ‘Our Lady of Fatima’ story.
This technique of disguising an allusion with ‘controversy’ is used throughout the Madeleine story.
The Immaculate Heart
We are told that the second appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary happened on the 13th June 1917. This time the lady told them that Lucia would live long in order to spread the message and devotion to the Immaculate Heart.
Here we can see various mirror images of the mother Kate Marie (Mary) that appear to be alluding to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Again we refer to David’s visit to the McCann apartment where he twice uses the word ‘Immaculate’ to describe the scene before him.
Additionally, the three Fatima children are two girls and one boy, the same as the three McCann children. That is not a coincidence – that is source material.
Praia Da Luz
I think it’s fair to conclude that the contemporary celebration of ‘Our Lady of Fatima’ explains the timing and location for the Madeleine McCann story, but why Praia da Luz?
The name ‘Praia da Luz’ is simply translated as ‘Beach of Light’ and is an old fishing village located in the municipality of Lagos. An association with fishing / fishermen would be ideal for any messianic story and even though there are likely hundreds of old fishing villages along the Portuguese coastline, the fact that ‘Praia da Luz’ means ‘Beach of Light’ would make this an ideal choice.
Remember, if this is a game of allusion and intertext then the writer has complete creative control and will want to allude to theme and original texts at every possible opportunity.