Approval by the Bishop (1930)
The ecclesiastical authorities remained reserved, as is the prudent practice of the Church in such matters, during the five years that followed the apparitions at Fatima. Yet despite this silence, the crowds coming on pilgrimage to the Cova da Iria remained steady. Two years after the apparition, Dom Jose Alves Correia da Silva, the Bishop of the Diocese of Leiria-Fatima, appointed a commission to study the case and began the official canonical inquiry. In the meantime the bishops of Portugal and all her islands and colonies were making their own pilgrimages to the site visited by Our Lady. Finally, in October of 1930, Bishop da Silva announced the results of the inquiry in a pastoral letter on the apparitions, which contained these important paragraphs:
In virtue of considerations made known, and others which for reason of brevity we omit; humbly invoking the Divine Spirit and placing ourselves under the protection of the most Holy Virgin, and after hearing the opinions of our Rev. Advisors in this diocese, we hereby:
1. Declare worthy of belief, the visions of the shepherd children in the Cova da Iria, parish of Fatima, in this diocese, from the 13th May to 13th October, 1917.
2. Permit officially the cult of Our Lady of Fatima.
From that moment of official approval, crowds swelled from around the world in pilgrimage to the Cova da Iria, calling down upon Portugal an immensity of graces that would confirm it in a new era only made possible, given its former state, by the Mother of God, Mediatrix of all Graces.