The crowns for the image of Our Lady of Fátima were manufactured with gold, silver and precious stones from Portuguese women who gave their jewellery in thanks for Portugal’s avoidance of the World War II.
The result of this initiative was handed over to the Leitão & Irmão house. The donations were so generous that two crowns were made: one in gilded silver, and another in gold and precious stones. Both are queen’s crowns, since Our Lady had been crowned queen of Portugal by king Dom João IV in 1646.
For several months, 12 jewellers worked on this project, which resulted in the precious article of Portuguese jewellery known as the “Crown of Our Lady of Fátima”. The coronation ceremony was held in Fátima on 13th May 1946. Since then, Our Lady of Fátima has worn two crowns: the gilded silver crown, worn every day; and the “Precious Crown” of gold and precious stones, used on major pilgrimage days.
Nearly half a century later, in 1984, the Precious Crown became even more famous when Pope John Paul II gave Our Lady of Fátima the bullet that hit him in an assassination attempt at the Vatican on 13th May 1981. The bullet fit perfectly in the empty space left in 1942 where the crown’s eight half-arches come together.