Located 130 km from Lisbon, Fátima also dubbed “City of Peace”, is the most important Marian sanctuary in Portugal.
Between 1916 and 1917, in a climate of war and turbulence of the early twentieth century and the First World War, three children who were tending their flocks in Cova da Iria experienced manifestations of the Mother of God and an angel. The apparitions of Our Lady occurred on the 13th day of each month between May and October 1917. There her great message of peace was transmitted to the world by the three children through faith and devotion to Our Lady and the praying of the Rosary. Several thousand people witnessed the amazing “Miracle of the Sun” during the last apparition of the Virgin on October 13th, 1917.
The Chapel of the Apparitions was erected precisely at this sacred spot and houses the image of Our Lady of Fatima. On the huge square around it one finds the Basilica with the tombs of the three seers and the new Church of the Holy Trinity.
Several popes visited Fatima throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. In 2017, one hundred years after the first apparition, Pope Francis canonized Jacinta and Francisco, two of the seers of Fatima.
Besides the Sanctuary, there is the village of Aljustrel, birthplace of the three seers. The houses where the children lived are still maintained and open to visitors. Between Aljustrel and Fátima, “Loca do Anjo” can be visited, which is the spot where the angel appeared to the children preparing them for the apparition of Our Lady. Also the Via Sacra and Calvário Hungaro are worth a visit. Both routes connect Aljustrel and Fátima and are ideal for a short pilgrimage on foot. The city of Fátima has many hotels, restaurants, shops and museums that have long excelled in welcoming and serving pilgrims. In the county seat of Ourém, you can also follow the story of the seers at the Administrator’s House, where they were detained and interrogated in August of 1917. In the cemetery of Ourém pilgrims can visit the tomb where Jacinta was burried before being transferred to Fatima.
Within a hundred years, Fatima has developed into one of the greatest pilgrimage centers in the world today.