10 working days, 11 medical units, 6 mobile assistance teams and 114 volunteers. These are the figures of the Order of Malta’s Portuguese Association 2022 campaign, organized every year to support pilgrims going to the Shrine of Fatima.
For over 45 years, the Portuguese Association has been providing assistance in various places along the way, enabling pilgrims walking to Fatima to rest and refresh themselves and to receive health and spiritual care. This year some 2,200 pilgrims were assisted. The campaign ended in conjunction with the celebrations of 13 May, the anniversary of the first apparition in 1917.
Since the Order of Malta’s Portuguese Volunteer Corps organized the first pilgrimage in 1976, over 200,000 people have been assisted. The assistance programme, including first-aid training for new volunteers, is prepared seven months before the pilgrimage.
Photo credit: Order of Malta’s Portuguese Association