The small town of Fatima, 88 miles (140km) North of Lisbon, is one of the world’s most important holy sites.
In 1917 the Virgin Mary appeared here to Three Shepherd Children and in 1930. Between May and October 1917, Our Lady appeared six times to three young Portuguese children in a field called the Cova de Iria, near the small village of Fatima, about seventy miles north of Lisbon. The children who received the apparitions had been brought up in an atmosphere of piety. They were Lucia dos Santos, aged ten, and her two younger cousins Francisco and Jacinta. They tended sheep together and often would kneel in the open field to pray the Rosary.On the day of the final apparition, October 13, 1917, she identified herself as “Our Lady of the Rosary“ and the dramatic episode of the dance of the sun took place, witnessed by a crowd of seventy-thousand people, in which the sun seemed to tumble from the sky. The Catholic Church officially recognized these visions and The Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary was built.
The first structure of The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima in Fátima, Portugal was built on the location of the apparitions was a small archway which was soon replaced by a tiny chapel over the spot of the apparitions.
First chapel was destroyed by dynamite in 1922, a second chapel was built. The foundation stone for The Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary was laid on October 13, 1928 and the finished structure was solemnly consecrated on October 6, 1953. This Neoclassical Church can hold 300,000 persons inside. Those who are dressed properly are permitted entrance. Two of the three children who first saw the vision are buried here.