Fátima, Portugal

view of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima (with the Chapel of the Apparitions, the Sacred Heart statue and the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary)
view of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima (with the Chapel of the Apparitions, the Sacred Heart statue and the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary)
Fatima is a world famous city in the historic Portuguese province of Beira Litoral.
Fatima is a place of Christian pilgrimage for millions of Catholics in commemoration of the alleged apparitions in 1917 of the Virgin Mary to three shepherd children in Cova da Iria. On the thirteenth day of every month, and particularly on 13 May and 13 October, thousands of people visit Fatima to pray and to pay their devoted promises

History : The name of the town and parish is a rendition of the Arabic given name Fatima . (Fatimah is the namesake of Fatimah bint Muhammad, a daughter of the prophet of Islam Muhammad.)
Fatima was said to be the name of a Moorish princess kidnapped by a knight, Goncalo Hermigues, and his companions. Hermigues took her to a small village in the Serra de Aire hills, in the recently created Kingdom of Portugal. According to the Western Catholic narrative, Fatima fell in love with her kidnapper and decided to convert to Christianity in order to marry him. She was baptized and given a Christian name, Oureana. Arab sources, however, claim that Fatima was forced into Christianity, as were most Reconquista captives. There is no documentary evidence to support either scenario of such a conversion. Whatever version is true, the place name recalls the Princess’ original Arab name rather than her Christian baptismal one.

The parish was founded in 1568, when it was annexed by the Collegiate of Ourem (Portuguese: Colegiada de Ourem). For centuries, most of the villagers kept herds of sheep and depended also on subsistence farming. Since the early 20th century, Fatima has been associated with events in which three local children, Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, purportedly saw visions of a woman known as Our Lady of Fatima, since believed by the Catholic Church to be the Virgin Mary. On 13 May 1917, whilst guarding their families’ sheep in the Cova da Iria, the children first claimed to have seen an apparition of a “lady dressed in white” and shining with a bright light.

The three shepherd children were born in Aljustrel, a small hamlet about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) from Fatima. To the west, near Aljustrel, is Loca do Cabeco, a smaller agglomeration of rocky outcroppings where, in 1916, an angel purportedly appeared twice to the three children. The children claimed to have seen the Marian apparition on six occasions; they said the last would be 13 October 1917. An estimated 70,000 pilgrims went to the site for the last prophesied apparition in October. Some of them reported what has been referred to as the Miracle of the Sun, when some observers reported it appeared to be behaving unusually.

The local bishop investigated the events and determined that the apparitions were worthy of belief. The site was marked by a cross erected by locals. In 1918 they built a small chapel, built from rock and limestone and covered in tile. It was 3.3 metres (11 ft) by 2.8 metres (9.2 ft) length, and 2.85 metres (9.4 ft) height. It became a centre for Marian devotion, receiving names such as a fe de Fatima, cidade da Paz (“the faith of Fatima, City of Peace”), or Terra de Milagres e Aparicoes (“Land of Miracles and Apparitions”). The chapel has since been enclosed within a large basilica and sanctuary, part of a complex including a hotel and other facilities. In 1930, the statue of Our Lady in the Chapel of Apparitions was crowned by the Vatican. Francisco died in 1919 and Jacinta in 1920, during the international Spanish flu pandemic. Lucia dos Santos became a nun and lived until 2005. The two who died young were beatified on 13 May 2000 by Pope John Paul II,and were canonised by Pope Francis on 13 May 2017, the hundredth anniversary of the first apparition.

The construction of the sanctuary and the steady visits by pilgrims stimulated local development. In addition to construction of a large shrine, basilica, and sanctuary, the complex includes a hotel and other facilities. The town of Fatima was elevated to the status of city on 12 July 1997. In the early 21st century, numerous residents of the parish (primarily from its business sector) worked to have Fatima designated as an independent municipality. The project, led by Julio Silva, engineer and ex-president of the Junta de Freguesia (Parish Council), was vetoed on July 2003 by President of Portugal Jorge Sampaio.

Three Little Shepherds monument.
Bus station of Fatima (Portuguese: Estacao Rodoviaria de Fatima)
Cistern of Gaiola (Portuguese: Cisterna em Gaiola)
Cistern of Ramila (Portuguese: Cisterna em Ramila)
Cistern of Capuchos (Portuguese: Cisterna dos Capuchos)
Civil Parish Building of Fatima (Portuguese: Junta de Freguesia de Fatima)
Fountain of Alveijar (Portuguese: Fonte do Alveijar)
Fountain of Lameira (Portuguese: Fonte da Lameira)
Fountain of Soudo Well (Portuguese: Fonte em Poco de Soudo)
Fountain of Vale da Pena (Portuguese: Fonte do Vale da Pena)
Fountain New (Portuguese: Fonte Nova)
House of Casal Farto (Portuguese: Casa de Casal Farto)
Main avenue of Fatima (Portuguese: Avenida de Dom Jose Alves Correia da Silva)
Mills of Fatima (Portuguese: Moinhos de Fatima)
Mills of Fazarga (Portuguese: Moinhos da Fazarga)
Mills of Giesteira (Portuguese: Moinhos da Giesteira)
Mill of Ortiga (Portuguese: Moinho da Ortiga)
Monument of the Three Little Shepherds (Portuguese: Monumento dos Pastorinhos – Rotunda Sul de Fatima)
Old mill of Ramila (Portuguese: Moinho Arruinado em Ramila)
Olive Oil Press in Estrada das Matas (Portuguese: Lagar de azeite na Estrada das Matas)
Porch House with Sundial (Portuguese: Casa Alpendrada com relogio de Sol em Casal Farto)
Residence of Francisco and Jacinta Marto, visionaries of Fatima (Portuguese: Casa de Francisco e Jacinta Marto, videntes de Fatima)
Residence of Lucia dos Santos (Portuguese: Casa de Lucia dos Santos, vidente de Fatima)
Threshing-floor of Ramila (Portuguese: Eira em Ramila)

Chapel of Casal Farto (Portuguese: Capela de Casal Farto)
Chapel of Lombo de Egua (Portuguese: Capela de Lombo de Egua)
Chapel of Our Lady of Conception (Portuguese: Capela da Amoreira/Capela de Nossa Senhora da Conceicao)
Church of Our Lady of Livramento (Portuguese: Capela de Boleiros/Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Livramento)
Church of Saint Anthony (Portuguese: Igreja Paroquial de Fatima / Igreja Paroquial de Santo Antonio)
Basilica of the Holy Trinity (Portuguese: Basilica da Santissima Trindade), on the far side of the sanctuary’s esplanade is the basilica, a neo-classical structure with a central tower 65 meters (213 ft) high, which was begun on 13 May 1928. It is flanked by colonnades linking it with the extensive convent and hospital buildings. Within the basilica are the tombs of the three witnesses to the apparitions: Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos. The Church of the Holy Trinity, one of the largest churches in the world, was built on the other side of the esplanade in the early 21st century.
Sanctuary of Fatima (Portuguese: Santuario de Fatima)
Chapel of the Apparitions (Portuguese: Capelinha das Aparicoes)
Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary (Portuguese: Basilica de Nossa Senhora do Rosario)
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Ortiga (Portuguese: Santuario de Nossa Senhora da Ortiga)
Parochial church of Fatima (Portuguese: Igreja Paroquial de Fatima)
Stations of the Cross of Valinhos (Portuguese: Via Sacra dos Valinhos)
Statues of the Angel of Portugal (Portuguese: Estatua do Anjo de Portugal na Loca do Cabeco e no Poco do Arneiro)
Chapel of Saint Stephen of Hungary (Portuguese: Capela de Santo Estevao

Access : Coordinates : 39.6259424962 -8.66973 / There are Rede Expressos buses to and from Lisbon’s central bus station in Sete Rios every hour between approximately 7AM and 7:30PM. A round trip costs €25 and takes 90 minutes each way. From Fatima bus station, it is a short walk of a few hundred metres along the streets with shops and hotels to the Sanctuary (the Marian Shrine). Do not catch a train to the misleadingly-named Fatima station, as this is over 20 km by road from the city

Main Attractions : Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary (Basilica de Nossa Senhora do Rosario de Fatima) , Chapel of the Apparitions (Capelinha das Aparicoes) , Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity (Basilica da Santissima Trindade) , Wax Museum of Fatima (Museu de Cera de Fatima) , Monument of the Three Little Shepherds (Monumento aos Tres Pastorinhos) , Way of the Cross and Calvary in Valinhos , Monument of Our Lady and of the Angel of Peace in Valinhos , Houses of the Three Little Shepherds in Aljustrel , Parish Church of Fatima , Sanctuary of Our Lady of Ortiga .

Activities : For Catholics visiting Fatima as a pilgrimage, there are several masses daily at the basilicas and at the Chapel of the Apparitions. Do a tour to the places surrounding the Sanctuary of Fatima or even to the medieval Castle of Ourem, where you can drink “Ginjinha”, the special morello cherry liqueur.  Fatima Guided Tours (Visitas guiadas a Fatima), Avenida dos Pastorinhos, Cova da Iria, 2495-408, e-mail: info@fatimatourism.com. Walking tours for a nominal fee in the city and to the surrounding places related to the Angel of Peace and Virgin Mary apparitions. They also distribute free materials that you can pick up without going on a tour: maps, prayer cards, etc

Culture :  The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, in Cova da Iria, is the principal focus of all visitors. Annually, at least five millions of Catholic pilgrims regularly fill the country roads leading to the Marian shrine. Numbers can reach hundreds of the thousands on 13 May and 13 October, the most significant dates of the apparitions in Fatima

Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities /

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