Growing up Christian and not Catholic, I’d never heard of Fatima or the Lady of Fatima. But let tell you, this place is a big deal. The story goes: On May 13th, 1917 a ten year old boy and his cousins were looking after sheep (at the current location of Fatima) and they described seeing a woman, “brighter than the sun, shredding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal ball filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun” Apparently the woman urged the children to do penance, acts of reparation, make sacrifice to save sinners, and to pray the rosary every day. She repeated many times that the rosary was the key to peace both in the world and personally. And this belief still resonates with people all around Portugal today. On our way to Fatima, there were stores and stores FULL of religious items. Rosaries, candles, Lady of Fatima statues for the home, etc. It was amazing, I wish I would have taken photos of the stores, it was basically a religious tourist trap. Shortly after the visions, the events at Fatima drew flocks of people to the site and Fatima gained fame due to the reports. A shrine was built to commemorate the apparitions called the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. In 1930, the Catholic Church finally recognized the apparations and performed a coronation of the statue of the Lady of Fatima. Today, this site serves as a HUGE sight for religious pilgrimage boasting numbers of over a million during May 13th and October 13th.
Inside the chapel in the Basilica. The stained glass was gorgeous!
The other side of the plaza was home to a new chapel. Very modern in its architecture, it was interesting to see the blend of the old and new architecture.
Images like these lined the halls of the new chapel.
Sanctuary in new chapel, check out that altar piece!!
And to end it, some vintage signage. I love this! There it is, Fatima. I would highly recommend going if you are ever near Lisbon. It is quite the sight to see and hard to believe over a million people visit it on two days out of the year!!