The Sanctuary of Fátima received almost five million visitors in 2022 and had revenues of 18.6 million euros and expenses of 17.7 million euros, reaching a profit of almost one million euros, announced this Thursday the rector of the Marian Temple.
“Although these are still provisional results, which have to be fully confirmed, I am convinced that they will not escape from here. It means that we had revenue of 18.6 million and expenses of around 17.7 million. This is a difference, a profit that cannot reaches one million euros”, Father Carlos Cabecinhas told journalists.
The rector was speaking on the sidelines at the 44th meeting of hoteliers and heads of religious houses that welcome pilgrims, which took place this Thursday in Fátima.
According to the data released for 2022, although provisional, in terms of expenses, the amounts totaled 17.7 million euros, with those relating to personnel reaching 5.41 million euros, depreciation 4.56 million euros, and external supplies and services 3.1 million euros.
In 2021, revenues were around 15.2 million euros, with the share of expenses amounting, in round numbers, to 14 million euros. In 2019, before the pandemic, revenues had been 20.3 million euros, with expenses totaling 18.9 million euros.
The person in charge of the Marian temple pointed out that “the shrine’s accounts have long been balanced accounts”, despite the fact that the pandemic has complicated the numbers.
“Obviously, if there are no pilgrims, there are no donations, which are our main source of income. But apart from these two exceptional years, 2020 and 2021, the sanctuary accounts are usually balanced accounts”, he stressed.
According to the rector, the concern “is always to maintain this balance between income and what may be the expenses of the sanctuary”, guaranteeing that “an enormous effort was made to reduce expenses”.
“It is an effort that we have been making, but, for example, in a year like this, we are faced with a reality, in short, that does not depend on the sanctuary, but which was the increase, for example, of external supplies” , he said, exemplifying with “the energy that increased the costs”.
According to the priest, the revenues “are mostly from the offerings of pilgrims”. “It is not unknown that the sanctuary has one or two commercial spaces, another shop selling religious items and a bookstore, as well as shelters, which also have recipes. However, these are not recipes the sanctuary can live on. We actually live on donations, because those revenues fall far short of what the sanctuary costs”, he declared.
Regarding expenses, the biggest ones are related to personnel, admitted the rector of the Sanctuary of Fatima. “Our great weight is human resources. But they are also the greatest asset of the sanctuary, that is, the greatest wealth of the sanctuary are its collaborators”, he stressed.
In December last year, the sanctuary had 331 employees, of which 29 were students (part-time workers). On the same date, there were 321 volunteers regularly enrolled, excluding the collaboration of scouts or servants.