Fatima then and now


The story begins in the village of Fatima, Portugal, on May 13, 1917. On that fateful day near that tiny village, The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, appeared to three young peasant children: Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia; ages 10, 9 and 7…

As Catholics, hubby and I were interested to visit Fatima, especially since we were already in Portugal.

We were picked up from our hotel by Andre our very reliable driver/tour guide/photographer, early in the morning. It was a shame that it was raining and the clouds were very dark that day.

Here are sculptures on the roundabout where we see the three children tending their sheep.

And, like a ‘miracle’ the rain disappeared as we went down for the walking tour. (Sorry it’s cheesy but our photographer was making us pose 😂) This was in front of the house of Jacinta and Francisco Marto.

Inside the modest home where the family of Manuel and Olimpia Marto plus their seven children lived.

This was the back door of their dwelling.

Walking out was a completely different atmosphere as it was very commercial.

We explored our way through the peaceful environment.

And passed by the house of the third child, Lucia.

We went to the statues representing the apparition of Our Lady to the 3 shepherd children of Fatima.

As with all tours, time constraints dictated that we had to leave soon.

Over 100 years ago, Fátima, a village in central Portugal, was all about sheep farming. Fast forward to today, it has transformed into a significant Catholic pilgrimage destination. The Santuário de Fátima, built where miracles happened in 1917, had 9.4 million visitors during its 100th anniversary. Marking 100 years since the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd kids.

After just a few minutes in the van, we arrived at the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, nestled within the enclosure of the Sanctuary of Fátima, on the opposite side of the Basilica. This modern, white, circular church in the sanctuary of Fatima was inaugurated in 2007.

Some of the sculptures around the Basilica enclosure.

The facade of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary (Fátima)

The interior

The tombs of Jacinta, Lucia and Francisco

Outside the basilica on the opposite side, it was refreshing to see the wide open space with some greeneries. Plus extra seating, maybe for special events?

And just like that, the clouds started to darken again.

Photos from 22 October 2023

8 Comments Add yours

  1. restlessjo says:

    We found Fatima very commercial overall but the Basilica and Sanctuary were impressive and the evening procession very evocative. We started to walk out to the children’s home but it was hot and a bit late in the day, so I’m glad to see it here. Thanks darlin 🤗🩷

    1. Teresa says:

      We went to the houses first before we went to the Basilica. October I guess is not as busy. And you are right, the Basilica and Sanctuary are very impressive with its wide space

  2. Toonsarah says:

    How lovely that the rain held off for your visit! It’s a shame, but probably inevitable, that Fatima is commercialised in parts (I’ve heard Lourdes is far worse!) I was interested to see the basilica and other buildings and statues etc., and compare them to the shrine at Guadeloupe which we visited recently on our Mexico trip. I’ll share some images in a future post so you can compare them too. I see both similarities and differences.

    1. Teresa says:

      Well, I guess people can just schedule their visits when it is early or not peak season. These Pilgrimages will forever be there.

  3. margaret21 says:

    It’s a story that seems quite widely known, and interesting to see how it’s been taken on and developed by the locals. I hope it’s not as bad as Lourdes, which as Sarah says, is dreadful.

    1. Teresa says:

      Maybe it is not as bad. I haven’t been to Lourdes so I am not 100% sure. But in Fatima there are places in between that seem very serene. But maybe because it wasn’t peak season. Thanks for commenting Margaret.

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Mary.

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