Fatima

City of Peace

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Tourism Information of Ourém

Telefone / Phone: +351 910 502 917

E-mail: museu (at) mail.cm-ourem.pt

Located 130 km from Lisbon, Fátima also dubbed "City of Peace", is the most important Marian sanctuary in Portugal.

Between 1916 and 1917, in a climate of war and turbulence of the early twentieth century and the First World War, three children who were tending their flocks in Cova da Iria experienced manifestations of the Mother of God and an angel. The apparitions of Our Lady occurred on the 13th day of each month between May and October 1917. There her great message of peace was transmitted to the world by the three children through faith and devotion to Our Lady and the praying of the Rosary. Several thousand people witnessed the amazing "Miracle of the Sun" during the last apparition of the Virgin on October 13th, 1917.

The Chapel of the Apparitions was erected precisely at this sacred spot and houses the image of Our Lady of Fatima. On the huge square around it one finds the Basilica with the tombs of the three seers and the new Church of the Holy Trinity.

Several popes visited Fatima throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. In 2017, one hundred years after the first apparition, Pope Francis canonized Jacinta and Francisco, two of the seers of Fatima.

Besides the Sanctuary, there is the village of Aljustrel, birthplace of the three seers. The houses where the children lived are still maintained and open to visitors. Between Aljustrel and Fátima, "Loca do Anjo" can be visited, which is the spot where the angel appeared to the children preparing them for the apparition of Our Lady. Also the Via Sacra and Calvário Hungaro are worth a visit. Both routes connect Aljustrel and Fátima and are ideal for a short pilgrimage on foot. The city of Fátima has many hotels, restaurants, shops and museums that have long excelled in welcoming and serving pilgrims. In the county seat of Ourém, you can also follow the story of the seers at the Administrator's House, where they were detained and interrogated in August of 1917. In the cemetery of Ourém pilgrims can visit the tomb where Jacinta was burried before being transferred to Fatima.

Within a hundred years, Fatima has developed into one of the greatest pilgrimage centers in the world today.

Some facts about Fatima

What’s special about the pilgrimage of Fatima?

What is interesting about Fatima is the mystery and strength of the message. The message was transmitted to three poor shepherd children who were alone with their flocks in the Cova da Iria: a message that speaks of peace, faith and consecration. It is this message and this comfort that pilgrims seek in Fatima and when visiting the Sanctuary.

The message materializes through the believers' processions and religious activities at the Sanctuary. This is especially true of the candlelight processions that take place from May to October - always at night between the 12th and 13th of each month. They remind each pilgrim of the apparitions of the Virgin in 1917. At these dates, thousands of candles light the huge square and the image of Our Lady passes by in a solemn procession.

The pilgrim can follow the story of the Apparitions and the three seers, visiting their tombs inside the Basilica, now venerated as saints, or visiting their houses in the village of Aljustrel.

Shrine of Fatima

This is one of the most important shrines dedicated to Our Lady in Portugal and in the world. The shrine is located in Cova da Iria – in the town of Fatima in central Portugal (120km from Lisbon), and was the location of several apparitions of Our Lady in 1917 to three little shepherds. A small chapel was erected on the spot where the apparitions occured and, to this day, it still holds the image of Our Lady of Fatima. Close by, the basilica with is white bell tower and the tombs of the three children, offers masses daily. Across from it stands the modern Church of the Trinity.

Pilgrimage History

Between May and October 1917, always on the 13th day of each month, Holy Mary appearedto the three little shepherds – Lucia de Jesus, Jacinta Marto and Francisco Marto. On the first visit in May 1917, a “white lady” appeared and spoke with them instructing them to pray and to return to that exact spot each month until a miracle would accour. On the 13th of October 1917, the sun danced in the sky for the many pilgrims that where there that day. A Madonna has been placed on a marble column precisely on this spot and a small stone chapel was erected.

Special pilgrimage days

From May to October every year, the 13th day of each month is celebrated in a very special way.
Processions with the image of Our Lady of Fatima mark the highlight of the pilgrimage ceremonies that are held in remembrance of the apparitions that started on the 13th of May in 1917 and then followed every 13th of each month until the last apparition on the 13th October 1917.

Popes at Fatima

Paul VI 13th May 1967

John Paul II 12th/13th May 1982

John Paul II 13th May 1991

John Paul II 13th May 2000: beatification of Jacinta and Francisco Marto, two of the seers of Fatima.

Benedict XVI 13th May 2010

Pope Francis 13th May 2017: canonization of Jacinta and Francisco Marto

Top 5 events

Where to go

  1. Procession of the Candles - in the night from the 12th to the 13th day of each month between May and October, a spectacular procession takes place: thousands of pilgrims carry candles and illuminate the Sanctuary while the image of Our Lady passes by in a solemn procession.
  2. Christmas Festivities -  for Christmas, Fátima becomes a lively city.
  3. Via Sacra de Ourém (Good Friday): The inhabitants of the village and its surroundings reenact the Passion of Christ along the historic streets
  4. Festival of Our Lady of Ortiga - One of the oldest Marian feasts of Fatima takes place six kilometers from the Sanctuary, always on the first Sunday of July.
  5. Santo Amaro Fair - At the foot of the medieval Village of Ourém, on January 15th , the feast is held in honor of Santo Amaro.
Top 5 sights in Fátima

1. Sanctuary of Fatima - Chapel of the Apparitions, Basilica with the tombs of the seers and Church of the Holy Trinity. The Cova da Iria, the stage of the apparitions, has become an important religious place of worship that welcomes pilgrims and tourists from around the world each year (9,4 million in 2017). www.fatima.pt

2. Aljustrel and Valinhos - birthplace of the three seers and where you can visit their houses, as well as Valinhos where the angel first appeared. Starting at the south roundabout in Fátima, you can walk the Way of the Cross up to Lucia's house in Aljustrel. www.ourem.pt

3. Parish Church of Fatima – Old church of the village of Fatima, where the three shepherds were baptized. www.paroquiadefatima.org

4. Sanctuary of the Ortiga - Marian Sanctuary a few kilometers from Fatima, once a very important pilgrimage site, still holds festivities in honor of Our Lady on the first Sunday of July. A local legend tells the story of a little shepherd who was cured through a miracle in 1758.  www.paroquiadefatima.org

5. Administrator's House and Jacinta Marto Memorial in Ourém - Old house of the Administrator of Ourém, Artur Santos, who welcomed the three seers of Fatima in August 1917 for questioning. The house shows permanent exhibitions about Ourém and Fatima at the time of the apparitions as well as temporary exhibitions. In front of the hospital is now the Jacinta Marto Memorial that can be visited. www.museu.cm-ourem.pt

Top 5 Excursions from Fátima

Up to 2 hours driving time

City of Ourém and Medieval Village of Ourém
The walled town of Ourém, once known as Abdegas, holds a central and strategic location within the country. Inhabited since prehistory, it was reconquered from the Moors around the year 1136 by D. Afonso Henriques, first King of Portugal. Its time of greatest splendor was in the 15th century, thanks to the cosmopolitan actions of D. Afonso, 4th count of Ourém. It was at that time that the Palace of the Count and the collegiate church were built. The earthquake of 1755 devastated the town that was shortly afterwards marked by the French invasions.

Nature Park of Agroal and Natural Monument of the Dinosaur Footprints
The Natural Monument is a mid-Jurassic deposit (about 175 million years old). It is the longest trail of sauropods known in the fossil records worldwide. The Nature Park belongs to the Natura 2000 network and it’s the largest water spring of the River Nabão, with a riverside beach and an interpretation center. This is a landscape of great biodiversity and of geological and archeological interest.

Batalha (UNESCO Heritage Site), Alcobaça (UNESCO Heritage Site) and Nazaré (sanctuary and beach)
The monasteries of Batalha and Alcobaça, both recognized by UNESCO, are two of the most significant monuments in central Portugal and some of the most emblematic in the country. Worth a visit are the magnificent churches, cloisters, gardens and the tombs of several kings and queens of Portugal.  Nazaré is a picturesque fishermen’s town in west coastal Portugal associated with long and beautiful beaches and seafood. Don't miss the Sancturary of Our Lady of Nazaré in the upper part of the town.

Tomar (UNESCO Heritage Site)
The beautiful town of Tomar, near the river Nabão, was once the main seat of the Knights Templar in Portugal. The town's cultural and historic heritage includes the medieval castle, numerous churches and a synagogue. The Convent of Christ in the Templars' castle is another UNESCO world heritage site to discover in this region, with its cloisters, living quarters and halls, the magnificent Charola and the ornate Manueline window.

Coimbra - Old University City
Coimbra is one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal. The university is one of the oldest in Europe with a magnificent library and chapel. Along the Mondego river we discover the traditions of the university and important sights like the old cathedral (Sé Velha), the church of Santa Clara a Velha, museums, Fado music from Coimbra and other beautiful sights. Coimbra was also the place where sister Lucia (the only seer of Fátima that lived longer) lived in the convent of Carmelitas de Coimbra until she died in 2005.

Travelling to Fatima

The most important connections

Getting here by plane

Airport Humberto Delgado – Lisbon

Bus connection from the Airport to Fatima
www.aeroportolisboa.pt

Airport Sá Carneiro - Porto

www.aeroportoporto.pt

Getting here by car

Fátima is located in the center of Portugal. Located just off the main motorway (A1), traveling by car, Fátima is one hour from LIsbon (capital) and two hours from the city of Oporto (the second city of the country).

Getting here by train

Station of Caxarias
from Lisbon or Oporto

by taxi or bus connection to Fátima.
www.cp.pt

 

Getting here by bus

From Lisbon and Oporto

www.rede-expressos.pt