Pumpkin carvings depicting Lady of Famita scene

Our Lady of Famita Carved from Brazialian Longneck Pumkpkin carved by Milton Nisti of Santos, Brazil

Take a look at these amazing and large pumpkin carvings of the scene of Nossa Senhora de Fatima!

Chef Charlie in Brazil sent me these photos that his student and friend Milton Nisti from the city of Santos, Brazil carved. It’s a scene of  the Lady of Fatima made of large pumpkin carvings. As she is known in Portuguese, the Senhora de Fatima is an important religious symbol to the people of Brazil, Spain and Portugal as well as other Catholics around the world.

Long Neck Pumpkin Carvings

Besides the detail of these sculptures, I was amazed that each figure is carved from a single pumpkin.

I am told that these are carved from Brazil long neck pumpkins which are shaped much like the butternut squash that we are familiar with here in the United States. These pumpkins were 100 to 130 centimeters tall which is roughly equivalent to 4 1/4  to 3 1/4 feet. And there were 35 to50 kg which is about 77 – 100 pounds!

Beautiful, isn’t it? Pretty fancy for a grocery store display. I can honestly say that I have never seen a beautiful 4 foot tall statue of any kind carved from pumpkin in my local grocery store!

The story of the Lady of Fatima

Nossa Senhora de Fatima is the name given to the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary reported to have appeared to three children in the town of Fatima in Portugal in 1917.

Nossa-Senhora-de-Fatima pumpkin carvings

Senhora-de-Fatima scene carved from pumpkin by Milton Nisti of Santos, Brazil

The apparitions for which Fatima is known around the world began on May 13, 1917 and continued each month through October, always on the 13th. The first vision came to Lucia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco as they tended sheep in an isolated ravine.

The children recounted that they saw two flashes of lightening and then a ‘Lady, brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light’ who said she was from heaven. The children were told to visit the same site each month for 6 months and then then it would be revealed who she was and want she wanted.  The Lady also directed the children to pray every day for peace and for the end of the war that was then destroying Europe, and then she disappeared in a blinding light. The children, unsure of what had happened to them, promised each other to keep quiet but later Jacinta let the matter slip when talking with her parents. Soon the entire village knew of the supposed apparitions and was making fun of the children.Lady of Fatima scene carved from pumpkin

Nonetheless, on the day of the second apparition, on June 17, approximately 60 villagers accompanied the children to the Cova da Iris ravine. The angel, visible only to the three children, again told them to pray and also predicted the deaths of Jacinta and Francisco. As she departed, the villagers saw a cloud rising and the branches of a tree leaning toward the cloud.

The angel returned each month and the crowds that came to catch a glimpse grew.

More than thirty thousand people came to Cova da Iris on September 13, as well as members of the press from leading European newspapers. As Lucia spoke to the angel, asking for healings, some of the assembled people saw a globe of light hovering above the children.

On October 17 of 1917 the crowd that gathered to see the apparition swelled to 70,000 people from all parts of Europe.  The day was dark and rainy. The apparition announced to the children that she was in fact Mary, the mother of Christ. She asked that prayers be said for the end of World War I and that a church be built in her honor. She then vanished in a blazing light as Lucia cried out, “Look at the Sun” which, however, was hidden behind dark clouds. Many thousands of those gathered reported seeing a movement in the heavens as if the sun were dancing, whirling toward the earth and away again. Others reported feeling the ground shake powerfully beneath their feet. Mysteriously, after the spinning of the great body of light, the crowd found its clothing completely dry and the rains stopped.

Today, during most of the year, the shrine of Fatima is a quiet and peaceful place, visited by locals and the few hundred pilgrims arriving each day from beyond the local area. On May 13, commemorating the day of the first apparition, and on October 13, the day of the final apparition, half a million pilgrims will crowd into the great square in front of the basilica. During these times there is an atmosphere of extremely passionate religious devotion, with hundreds of pilgrims crawling toward the shrine on their knees, thousands making vows, and much praying and weeping.

Now you know a bit about the scene that is depicted in this  set of very large pumpkin carvings.

Unusually large pumpkins, made into extraordinary carvings, by a very talented artist to depict a supernatural event, set in an everyday grocery store. Whether or not you are a believer, this scene made  from pumpkin carvings is pretty amazing.

 

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