Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal

Every year between four and six million pilgrims from all countries travel to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, near Ourém, Portugal.

For centuries, in Fatima most of the villagers kept herds of sheep and depended also on subsistence farming.
The name of the town and parish is a rendition of the Arabic given name Fatima.

Since the early 20th century, Fatima has been associated with events in which three local children shepherds, reported having witnessed several apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the place of Cova da Iria, in Fatima. In one of those apparitions they would have been told to build a chapel there.

The Catholic Church later recognized these events as «worthy of belief.» And currently the first original small chapel is integrated into the central part of the Sanctuary that was built to accommodate the large number of pilgrims who arrived at the place, where a beautiful image of Our lady. Subsequently a second Basilica was built.
This place has become over the years a center of world devotion.
The largest pilgrimages take place annually from May 12 and 13 to October 13, being traditionally done on foot.

For many Catholics, standing in this gigantic square could be a lifelong ambition.
For everyone else it is still something to do, to measure the amazing size of this place and understand what makes so many people move towards Fatima.

After visiting the Sanctuary you can also visit the Moéda Grottoes, as well as Óbidos, a beautiful medieval village, and the Batalha monastery, one of the most important in Portugal.

Within the tourist world this is one of the classics that should not be missed and that Iberinbound, incoming travel agency in Portugal, can make it happen.