Each May 12th and 13th thousands of pilgrims head for the Altar of the World to kneel at the feet of Our Lady of Fatima, in one of the most impressive demonstrations of faith, peace and spirituality that the world assists, every year, since 1917.
How everything started
The history of Fatima is permanently connected to the existence of three children: Lúcia and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto. The sweetness and innocence of the little and humble shepherds took them to see the holiest of the images: the one of Our Lady. On 13 May 1917, at Cova da Iria, a few kilometres from Fatima, they saw a light, where the Capela das Aparições is now situated. The Virgin asked them to pray for the good of the world, and announced that she would return during the following months, every 13th day of the month. The last apparition occurred in the month of October, and around 70,000 pilgrims witnessed the Miracle of the Sun.
Places to visit
The Basilic, in the neo-Baroque style, which receives more than 7 million visitors every year, making it one of the most important religious tourism destinations in the world.
The Capelinha das Aparições (Apparitions Chapel), symbol of the Sanctuary, was the first place of worship to be built in Fatima, Portugal.
Still in the vicinity of the Sanctuary you can contemplate the large holm oak, the monument to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in the centre of the square and the Cruz Alta at the south end of the sanctuary area.
In addition to the Sanctuary, you can visit the Centro Pastoral Paulo VI, the house of the little shepherds and the Ethnographical Museum in Aljustrel, the monument to Our Lady in Valinhos, the Loca do Anjo (the "place" of the Angel), the Stations of the Cross and the Calvary. On the north side of the Sanctuary visit the Wax Museum of Fátima and the 1917 Apparitions Museum, on the south side, the Sacred Art and Ethnology Museum of Fátima.
At 2 km from the Sanctuary, in Fatima, chief town of the parish, one can visit the Parish Church where the seers were baptized, as well as the cemetery where Francisco and Jacinta have been buried for some years.
Fatima today is the Altar of the World, one of the main pilgrimage centres in the world, where millions of pilgrims find spiritual comfort.
How to go there?
In Portugal, Fatima is situated at about 25 km from Ourem, 25 km from Leiria, 120 km from Lisbon, 180 km from Oporto and approximately about 300 metres above the sea level.
See our private tours to Fatima from Estoril or Lisbon.
For more information, please contact us.
To know more, check the official website of Fatima: www.santuario-fatima.pt.
Official Celebrations in Fatima
Aljustrel - close to Fatima
The church of Fatima