Sanctuary of Fátima
142 km (88 miles) North of Lisbon, Fátima is one of the most important shrines of the world dedicated to the Virgin Mary. More than five million pilgrims visit the sanctuary of Fátima each year. It attracts the religious people, but also those who seek a peace lifestyle.
The story begins in the summer of 1917 when the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to three young shepherds in the place that is now the town of Fátima in Portugal’s Central Region. The place where they saw her, with the time has become an immense sanctuary and one of Christianity’s most important pilgrimage sites. There are two basilicas, a square where thousands of devotees can congregate, an itinerary of locations that hold a special meaning to the apparitions, high-rise hotels and some rather tacky souvenir shops.
You don’t need to be Catholic or religious to be blown away by the sanctuary of Fátima and the number of visitors but if you are, you will feel the sanctuary and the story of the three children very differently.
According to the shepherds, the Virgin Mary gave them three secrets: the end of the First World War, the fall of Communism and the attack on Pope John Paul II, a fervent devotee of Our Lady.
What should you really visit when you come here
Chapel of Apparitions
The very heart of the Sanctuary. It was the first edifice constructed in the Cova da Iria, at the place of Our Lady's Apparitions. The exact spot is marked by a marble pillar on which the Statue of Our Lady is placed. Here converge the four million pilgrims who visit the Sanctuary each year.
On the colonnade in front of the Basilica, statues of four Portuguese Saints can be seen: St. John of God, St. John of Brito, St. Anthony and Bl. Nuno of Santa Maria. From one side to the other, from left to right, are the following saints: St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis de Sales, Bl. Marcelino de Champagnat, St. John Baptist de la Salle, St. Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri, St. Jonh Bosco with St. Dominic Savio, St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Simon Stock, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Paul of the Cross and St. Beatrice da Silva. The white marble statue in the niche above the entrance to the Basilica, sculptored by Fr. Thomas McGlynn, OR, shows Our Lady in one of her apparitions when she urged devotion to her Immaculate Heart.
Begun in 1928 and consecrated on 7 October 1953, its 15 altars are dedicated to the 15 mysteries of the Rosary. The painting above the high altar depicts the Message of Our Lady to the little shepherds, prepared by the Angel of Portugal, through their encounter with Christ in the Eucharist. The Bishop of the diocese is shown kneeling on the left side, and the figures of Pope Pius XII (who consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1942, and whose Legate crowned the Statue of Our Lady in 1946), of Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI. Scenes of the apparitions are represented in stained glass, as well as invocations from the Litany of Our Lady. In the four corners of the Basilica interior are placed the statues of the great apostles of the Rosary and of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: St. Anthony Claret, St. Dominic of Gusman, St. John Eudes and St. Stephen, King of Hungary. The tombs of Francisco and Jacinta are in the Basilica, and, in the chancel, are the mortal remains of D. José Alves Correia da Silva, first Bishop of Leiria after its restoration in 1920. The monumental organ, mounted in 1952, has about 12 thousand pipes.
The Holy Way is composed of 14 little chapels in memory of the Passion of Our Lord. and a 15th corresponding to the Resurrection Beneath the Calvary there is a Chapel dedicated to St Stephen of Hungary. The first 14 Stations were offered by Catholic Hungarian refugees in western countries, and were inaugurated on 12 May 1964: the 15th on 13 October 1992, in the presence of the Ambassador of Hungary, the country now liberated from Communism The Holly Way begins at the south Rotunda of Saint Teresa, and follows the path which the little shepherds took when going from Aljustrel to the Cova da Iria.
Talking about communism prediction, at the entrance of the Sanctuary, on the south side of the Rectory, one may visit a monument of the Berlin Wall's, consisting of a concrete segment that was part of it, offered by means of Virgilio Casimiro Ferreira, a Portuguese emigrant to Germany and is here placed as a grateful memorial of God's intervention for the fall of Communism as promised at Fatima. * (The Walls construction started during the night between the 12th. and 13th. of August, 1961 and its demolition began the 9th. of November, 1989). The segment weighs 2,600 kilos (5,732 lbs.) and measures 3.60 meters (11 ft. 9 in.) high by 1.20 meters (3 ft. in.) wide.
This place is full of stories, and you will be delighted to visit it. Tribos Tours offers a private tour of the sanctuary of Fátima which is an all included private tour. Other places in Portugal like Sintra town, we offer different all included private tours like "Sintra tour-Quinta da Regaleira", "Sintra tour - Palacio da Sintra", "Sintra Palaces tour with horseback riding".