Fátima is located about an hour and a half (130 km) north of Lisbon. Millions of pilgrims and tourists visit Fátima each year, as it is considered one of the most important Catholic shrines in the world dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
It is believed that the Virgin Mary appeared to 3 shepherd children near the town on the 13th of every month from May through October 1917. The Virgin revealed 3 secrets to the children, which were believed to have foretold World War II, Russian communism, and the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II that took place in 1981.
In 1928 construction began on the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, which is built at the site of the apparitions of the Virgin to the children. It was consecrated in 1953, and today it welcomes about 4 million pilgrims each year. The tombs of the children are located in the basilica, and the square in front of it is twice as big at St. Peter’s Square in Rome and can hold up to 1 million people. For more information, click here.
After visiting Fátima, take a short 15 minute drive to the town of Ourém and stay in the Pousada Conde de Ourém, a charming cluster of medieval houses that are located next to the town’s 13th C. castle. For more information and reservations, click here.
Photo credit: © Santuário de Fátima
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