Extraordinary order: Fátima, religious affects and the catholic political imagination in Portugal, c.1910–1950

Tiago Pires Marques*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Close observation of the episodes making up the history of Fátima enables us to identify various combinations of political and religious factors across different points in time. The trajectory of Carlos de Azevedo Mendes, a militant Catholic in the First Republic and representative of the National Assembly to the Portuguese New State dictatorship, suggests a religious attachment marked by devotion to the Virgin, captured by a political project that took shape in the 1920s. In effect, from midway through the decade, this Marian religious affection crystallized in a desire for order that inter-related with the political programme of the New State. The collective experience linked to Fátima’s so-called apparitions was strongly fashioned by the political context, even while lived as a religious event. To this Catholic activist, Fátima eventually became an imaginary place where devotion and the vision of a new Christian order were inherently intertwined. This article argues that within this process there were successive reattributions of political meaning that enabled the political ‘order‘in power, already under the New State, to present itself as religious, while the religious became simultaneously a standpoint from which it was possible to criticize the state.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-268
Number of pages16
JournalPortuguese Journal of Social Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Carlos de Azevedo Mendes
  • Estado Novo
  • Fátima apparitions
  • Political culture
  • Religious belief


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