Over the last 90 years Fatima has become one of the most venerated holy sites in Europe. Huge annual pilgrimages take place, often with up to 500,000 people walking to the holy town.
Fatima's significance started when three shepherd children saw a vision of the Virgin Mary on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917. According to Lúcia's account (one of the three children) Mary confided three secrets, known as the Three Secrets of Fatima. She exhorted the children to do penance and to make sacrifices to save sinners. The children wore tight cords around their waists to cause pain, abstained from drinking water on hot days, and performed other works of penance. Most important, Lúcia said Mary asked them to say the Rosary every day, reiterating many times that the Rosary was the key to personal and world peace.
The third secret only recently revealed predicted the attempt on the life of a Pope and was not published to the public until after the assignation attempt on Pope John Paul II
A new church was recently opened to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the last of a series of reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary to the three local children . The church contains five chapels, 16 confessionals and a café where the faithful can "rest and reflect".
View Larger Map The most direct route is approx 60km or if you prefer the faster main roads Fatima is 76kms from Sao Martinho do Porto.
For more information use these links:
Fatima official web site