13th May; Peregrinação a Fátima (Major Pilgrimage to Fátima)
The Sanctuary of Fátima holds the most significant religious attraction in the country, with two meaningful celebrations in May and October, the period between which the Marian cycle took place and consisted of six apparitions of Our Lady in 1917. On May 13th, 1917, the first
apparition of Our Lady who asks Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco to go to Cova da Iria , every day the 13th, for six months in a row, at the same time pray the Rosary every day, for war (First World War 1914 1918 ) to end and to the world know peace. At the end of these 6 apparitions,
Our Lady asked them to build a church in her honour, in Cova da Iria, where the Sanctuary of Fátima is now located.
Currently, this is one of the times when Fátima is most visited, not only by the Portuguese but also by foreigners. The international fame increased during the papacy of John Paul II, who was a devotee of Nossa Senhora de Fátima, in 1982 he came for the first of 3 times to
Fátima to give thanks for having survived an attack a year earlier. In 2000, on his third visit, he announced the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco, to whom the Vatican attributed the miracle of a cure. In the month of May, the celebrations begin on the 12th, with several masses, presented in several languages so that all pilgrims can follow the celebration, culminating in one of the most important moments the Procession of the Candles, on the night of May 12th, when thousands of candles fill the great square of the Sanctuary, granting this moment a magical atmosphere of communion and religious devotion. Also, as impressive, is the Procession of the Goodbye on the 13th, culminating the celebrations at the Sanctuary of Fátima.
In Portugal, pilgrims begin their journey walking towards Fátima form many locations in the country, close or far, following roads and rural paths. Four paths to Fatima were identified, signposted on the ground, to facilitate this annual movement of pilgrims Caminho do Tejo , Caminho do Norte, Caminho da Nazaré and Caminho do Mar which can be easily followed even by those who know the region poorly. But of course, you can also take these paths by car.
The important thing is to go and not how you got there. Even if you are not a believer, you will not be indifferent when you are in the Sanctuary of Fátima, for its grandeur, the spirituality you sense and of course the symbolism.
In Fátima, in addition to the Sanctuary, you can also visit the Museum of Sacred Art and Ethnology, the Wax Museum, the Fátima 1917 Museum and the Animated Nativity Scene and Village. About 2 km away is Aljustrel , where Francisco, Jacinta and Lúcia lived. To reconstruct the history, you can visit Loca do Anjo and Valinhos.