May 13, Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

The story of Our Lady of Fatima is full of miracles. On May 13, 1917, Our Lady appeared to three children - siblings 8-year-old Francisco and 6-year-old Jacinta Marto and their cousin Lucia dos Santos (9 years old) in the Portuguese town of Cova da Iria, located two and a half kilometers from Fatima on the road to Leiria.
Mary appeared to the children for six consecutive months, every 13th day of the month, from May to October. Each time she also had a special message for them.
She called for prayer and penance. She asked the children to pray the rosary every day and make offerings for the conversion of sinners. She warned against the dangers of war. She shared a vision of hell and called for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. She also revealed secrets to the children, which after much hesitation and delay, Lucia finally revealed publicly.
To commemorate this event, in 1930 the local bishop approved the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, which in 2002 was added to the global calendar of the Church. Fatima has become one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the world, attracting over 4 million pilgrims annually.
Every year on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, Catholics remember Mary's messages and renew their commitment to prayer, penance and conversion. In Fatima, the event gathers crowds of pilgrims from all over the world who come to the sanctuary to pray before the statue of the Virgin Mary.
In the square in Fatima, you can see pilgrims crossing this place on their knees, as an act of penance. They cover 182 meters from the Basilica of the Holy Trinity to the Chapel of the Apparitions, and then, also on their knees, circle the Chapel, reciting the rosary. Many pilgrims cover the entire pilgrimage route on foot. The distance from Lisbon to Fatima is approximately 130 km.
Places that pilgrims visit in Fatima:
- Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, which houses the tombs of Saint. Francis, St. Jacinta and Sister Lucy.
- The Little Chapel of Apparitions is a simple but modern chapel located in the place where Mary first appeared to the children.
- Museum of the Sanctuary of Fatima, where there is an exhibition "Fatima: Light and Peace", which contains a collection of offerings dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima and commemorating the apparitions.
- Basilica of the Holy Trinity - a minor basilica in the Marian Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, built in a modernist style and completed in 2007.
- Via Sacra, i.e. "Holy Way", marking the path followed by children to the place of the first apparition.
Every year on May 13, Catholics honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, honoring her message of peace and reflecting on the apparitions at Fatima, Portugal. The message of Fatima is still valid, and the sanctuaries dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima remind us of the importance of spiritual conversion and prayer.

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