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Meet your guide in Lisbon and start discovering fascinating Portuguese culture. Discover the Sanctuary of Fátima, where you will learn the incredible story about the apparitions of the Virgin Mary that apparently occurred to a group of children in 1917. Feel the peace and spirituality in the Sanctuary of Fátima, a place of devotion and Christian pilgrimage. Fátima is one of the most relevant religious sanctuaries in the world, as it keeps the memory of the apparitions of Our Lady to the three little shepherds – Lúcia dos Santos, Francisco and Jacinta Marto. The Sanctuary of Fátima receives around 6 million visitors a year and is second only to Lourdes, France, the most important pilgrimage site in Europe, with a history and culture that fascinate both religious and non-religious.
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Visit one of the most impressive Catholic sanctuaries in the world. In this place flock by year, 4 to 5 million of pilgrims from around the world, mostly pilgrims who moved by faith, there moving, on 13 May and 13 October or rest of the year promises to pay and ask the protection of the Virgin. In Fatima the 3 little shepherd children – Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta – claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary, for the first time May 13, 1917. Understanding Fatima is visit a Sanctuary full of peace and serenity. The Chapel of the Apparitions, where worship began, continues to have a very attractive who moves there. The pedestal with the image of Our Lady marks the exact spot of the small holm oak (missing due to the devotion of the first pilgrims who led branch to branch) mentioned in reports of apparitions to the children the 13th day of May, June, July, September and October 1917.
Among the various buildings associated with the sanctuary, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary (Basílica de Nossa Senhora do Rosário) is a solid limestone church built between 1928 and 1953 in Neo-Baroque style. The basilica has a 65 metre-high bell tower and there is a large statue of Our Lady of Fatima above the main entrance to the church.
The statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus appears in the middle of the Plaza Pio XII, the largest venue for outdoor prayer. It´s gilt bronze and stands on a spring water well surrounded by a fountain to which pilgrims come and drink (and return home with a bit). The image was donated by an anonymous grateful pilgrim and blessed on May 13, 1932 by the then Apostolic Nuncio, Monsignor Beda Cardinale. The location is now central to the message of the Virgin to the little shepherds in the Cova da Iria. You can see this in the plaza in addition to the Chapel of Apparitions and Church of the Holy Trinity
The chapel of the Apparitions is the "heart" of the Shrine of Fatima. It was in the place of the Chapel that our Lady talked to the little shepherds. Out of the six apparitions of the Virgin Mary, five of them happened in this place – May, June, July, September and October – where, by the Lady’s indication, a chapel in her honour was to be constructed. Built between April 28 and June 15, 1919, it was later blessed, having Mass been celebrated there for the first time on October 13, 1921. Dynamited in the morning of March 6, 1922, it was restored and reopened on January 13, 1923.
Fatima now attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the world, particularly on the pilgrimage days in May and October. Moreover, the large torch-light processions in the evening are particularly impressive, often led by Cardinals and Bishops. The pilgrims gather in Cova de Iria, an enormous plaza where a little chapel was built and where the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared.
One of the primary missions of the St. John Paul II Society is to open the hearts of the men and women of our time to the grace that enabled the Sainted Holy Father to unite his sufferings with those of Jesus Christ for the whole Church. For St. John Paul II, the channel of this grace of redemptive suffering was his lifelong devotion to Our Lady, especially as she appeared at Fatima, Portugal in 1917.
Consecrated on October 12, 2007, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the apparitions of Fátima, this is now Portugal’s biggest church and possibly the fourth largest Catholic church in the world. The first thing that strikes you about the Church of the Most Holy Trinity is its modern look and this immediately draws different reactions from visitors. Traditionalists and people who prefer the rich, ornate architectural styles may have problem liking this modern design.