Artur de Oliveira Santos
|Municipal Administrator of Ourém|
23 October 1915 – 28 February 1918
24 April 1920 – 31 July 1920
|Born||22 January 1884|
Ourém, Kingdom of Portugal
|Died||27 June 1955 (aged 71)|
|Spouse||Idalina de Oliveira Santos|
Artur de Oliveira Santos[a] (22 January 1884 – 27 June 1955), was a Portuguese journalist and local politician, most widely known for being the Municipal Administrator of Ourém, in which the locality of Fátima is located, during the time of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fátima to three young shepherd children in 1917.
Although he had little formal education, Artur Santos was made the editor the local newspaper Ouriense, in which he displayed his anti-monarchical and anti-religious opinions. In his twenties he was elected to the Masonic lodge of Leiria, and then founded a separate Lodge at Vila Nova de Ourém, his native town. Shortly after that he was made Municipal Administrator of Ourém. This position was essentially an appointed mayor, a delegate of the central government who was tasked with, among other things, maintaining public order. It carried with it the additional titles of President of the Municipal Chamber (the town hall), and Judge Substitute of Comarca. Invested with the authority of all these titles, Santos was, at the time of the apparitions, the most influential man in his area of Portugal.
Artur Santos was known for his hostility towards organized religion in general and Catholicism in particular. He was especially hostile with regards to the apparitions and repeatedly sent law enforcement officials to seek to impede public access to the site. He went so far as to kidnap the three children and place them in jail, in order to prevent them from proclaiming another apparition. Years later, Lucia would recall how the three had been jailed, and that Santos had threatened the children with being boiled in oil unless they revealed to him the secret which they had reported receiving from the Lady.
In his later years, Artur Santos professed to be a Christian, but denied going to Mass or Confession. He sent a letter to a newspaper stating his side of the story on the issue of having arrested the children. Although stripped of political offices in his later years, he took pride in the fame he once had, and assert that he was known all over the world "and in Russia, too".
At twenty-six he joined the Grand Orient Masonic Lodge at Leiria.
... was, before long, mayor or administrator of the county. This carried with it the corollary titles of President of the Chamber and Judge Substitute of Comarca.