Portugal’s Sanctuary of Fátima is a symbol of the Virgin Mary and one of the world's most important religious sites. A major tourist attraction for pilgrims from all over the world that come here every year, especially between May and October.
Former Pope Benedict XVI visited the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in May 2010 and presided over ceremonies May 13, 2010 the date of the first apparition of St. Mary to three shepherd children in 1917. As a cardinal, Pope Benedict led an international pilgrimage to Fatima in 1996.
It all began back in May and October of 1917, when three shepherd children, Jacinta, Francisco and Lúcia - witnessed apparitions of Our lady of the Rosary, (the Virgin Mary), at the site of the sanctuary.
Initially regarded with suspicion by the Church, but greatly cherished by the people, the miracle was only officially recognized in 1930 by the Bishop of Leiria.
On the May 13, 2000 the Vatican beatified Jacinta and Francisco, because it is said they could miraculously cure illness after their visions.
As well as the famous Sanctuary, you can also visit Fátima Parish Church, the small Chapel of the Holy Way and the Calvary. At Local do Anjo in Valinhos, you can see the shepherd children’s’ houses and their local well. Trips to the Museum of Sacred Art and Ethnology, the Wax Museum, and the Casa-Museu de Aljustrel, as well as the Museu Fátima 1917 Aparições all shed light on the history of Fátima.