The Portuguese city of Fátima is located in Serra de Aire, where the Fátima Sanctuary is located. It has considerable worldwide fame, due to reports of apparitions of the Virgin Mary, reported by three little shepherds, between 13 May and October 13, 1917.
The headquarters of the diocese was renamed the Diocese of Leiria-Fatima, named after Pope John Paul II on 13 May 1984.
The city of Fatima was a relatively unknown place until 1917, and that all changed after the religious appearances.
Initially the church was reluctant to accept the event, but it would be greatly cherished by the people. The phenomenon that took place at Fatima was not recognized until 1930 by the Bishop of Fatima.
Since the recognition of the apparitions by the Church the locality has had a notorious development and the place was elevated to Town in 1977 and Town in 1997.
The affection for the place of Pope John Paul II would have been fundamental to the sanctuary’s worldwide fame. Pope John Paul II, a devotee of Our Lady of Fatima, went to the Sanctuary in 1982 in gratitude for surviving an attack a year earlier.
In 2000, he announced the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco, two of the shepherds, to whom the Vatican has attributed the miracle of a cure.
Every month, the Fatima Sanctuary receives thousands of pilgrims guided by their faith, the highest number being on the 12th and 13th. Departing from various parts of the country, many of these pilgrims make this journey on foot. To facilitate these trips, a set of 4 paths were identified, called “Paths of Fatima”, the Tagus Way, North Way, Nazareth Way and the Sea Way. These paths can easily be followed, even for those unfamiliar with region.
Despite being a place world famous for its religious atmosphere and devotion, many non-believers are not indifferent to the whole atmosphere that resides in the Sanctuary, whether for generosity, spirituality, symbolism or all these reasons and more.
No one can remain indifferent to such a magnificent and kind place.
Book here your tour of Fatima and come to know its history.