Fatima in a nutshell
Fatima is a small town about 90 minutes from Lisbon - it's easily accissible by bus and it's a well-known pilgrimange site. It's the place where the Virgin Mary appeared 6 times and gave messages to the world. It all started on 13 May 1917, when three young shepards witnessed her first appearance. They were Lucia de Jesus, aged 10, and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, aged 9 and 7. She appeared again 5 other times in the following months - always on the 13th day. There's not much to see in Fatima, except the the sanctuary - but it's a pretty sanctuary. However there would be much to know - if only this information was made available. The Virgin Mary is supposed to have shared with the shepards 3 misteries. The first one spoke about the end of the WWI and the beginning of WWII, the second was about the former USSR and the third... who knows? It has been said it was the attempt to kill the Pole. For the few who affirm it - thousand others deny it. Apparently the third and last secret is still unkown.
The basilica at Fatima
Inside the basilica you are not encouraged to stand and look around. You are asked to walk slowly.
Jacinta and Francisco Marto died less than two years after the apparitions from influenza. They were reburied in the basilica between 1951 and 1952. Their cousin Sister Lucia became a Carmelite nun and died last year at the grand age of 97.
With a monumental columned staircase, the Holy Way has paintings of polichromatic ceramic. In front of the basilica, in the colonnade, we can see statues of four Portuguese saints: S.João de Deus, S.João de Brito, Santo António e Beato Nuno de Santa Maria. From side to side, from left to right, there are these too : Santa Teresa de Ávila, S. Francisco de Sales, Beato Marcelino de Champagnat, S. João Baptista de La Salle, S. Afonso Maria de Ligurio, S. João Bosco as well as S. Domingos Sávio, S. Luís Maria Grignion de Mofort, S. Vicente de Paulo, S. Simão Stock, S. Inácio de Loyola, S. Paulo da Cruz, S. João da Cruz e Santa Beatriz da Silva.
The 3 Seers of Fatima
"Trip of a lifetime"
When you plan you trip to Fatima, Portugal, be sure that you plan to stay at least 4-7 days. When you first arrive and get established into your hotel, walk the area and familiarize yourself with the area. If you are not with a tour, you can walk the entire area such as Fatima, Aljustrel, and Valinhos. There is a small train-like bus that can take you to all these places of which you will see the places where the 3 Seers were born, the church in which they where baptised, and the grotto at which the apparitions happened. The serenity of the area is of no other place on earth. The local people are just wonderful and most helpful. Many people return here 7 to 10 times and still have not seen everything.