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By following the 3 little shepherds, you will find the path to the "Lady brighter than the sun". The Sanctuary of Fátima! It is located in Cova da Iria, in the town of Fátima, municipality of Ourém, Portugal.

Called by the Catholic Church as the shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima, it pays homage to Our Lady of Fátima.

The sanctuary and the chapel

Santuario Nossa Senhora de Fatima

This city, a place of international pilgrimage, receives thousands of visitors every year. In 2018, the year of the centenary, there were 10 million.

The story behind it, according to the Catholic faith, dates back to 1916 and involves three shepherd children. Lucia and her young cousins, Francisco and Jacinta, had a vision of an angel who prepared them for the first apparition of the Virgin Mary.

On May 13, 1917, at the top of a holm oak, the Virgin made her first appearance. Then once a month until October. The Saint transmitted messages of perseverance, faith and peace to the children. She also asked them to pray the rosary and that a chapel be built in her honor.

Long before the Church recognized what had happened, the place began to attract the faithful. Finally, a small chapel is built on the place of the apparitions, in the Cova da Iria, which is still today in the sanctuary of Fátima.

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Capelinha das Orações, construída no local das aparições of the Virgin Maria, na Cova da Iria

The Basílica da Santíssima Trindade

Right in front is the fourth largest Catholic temple in the world in terms of capacity. The Basilica of the Holy Trinity. A modern building that has its configuration of circular shape and white color, with the stone covering it, coming from this region and known as the white of the sea.

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Santuario Nossa Senhora de Fatima

The Cruz Alta

Outside the basilica you will see the High Cross or High Cross, which is 34 meters high. It replaced the old High Cross, 27 meters high, erected to mark the closing of the Holy Year 1950/1951.

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Cruz Alta and the sculpture in homage to Pope João Paulo II

In the outer area there is an esplanade, where at night the candlelight procession can take place.

There is also an underground gallery with chapels, two retreats and a museum, responsible for the permanent exhibition (Fatima Luz e Paz), in the building of the presbytery.

Craft shops

On leaving the shrine, near its entrance, there are a few small shops, one next to the other.

Handicrafts shops in Fátima
Handicrafts shops in Fátima

You can buy souvenirs such as rosaries, photos, key chains, accessories, images of the Virgin.

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Handicrafts shops in Fátima

If you have time, other interesting places to visit in this region are: Cera Museum, Arte Sacra Museum, Vida de Cristo Museum, and Ourém Castle.

By Mayara Rods