Back in Portugal in 1917, children’s tasks included leading family flocks to pastures and so it was nothing unusual when the siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto spent their Sundays together with their cousin Lucia dos Santos on the pastures of Cova da Iria to play as the sheep silently grazed. However, one sunny Sunday was still special to the kids and should change not only the course of the children’s lives but also the history of the 20th century.

source: speramus-hope

It was the 13th of May 1917 when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto and their cousin Lucia dos Santos. She commanded the children to pray for world peace by saying the rosary every day. From this day on, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the three kids every 13th of a month for six months. It is recorded that on the 13th of July the Blessed Virgin Mary prophesied the so called “three secrets of Fatima” dealing with the future of Europe and the church. While the first prophecy is related to the Second World War, the second one talked about the rise of the communistic Russia. The third prophecy was held as a secret from the children and later the church for long time, however, in 2000 the secret was released to public. It is believed that the last prophecy of the Blessed Virign Mary referred to the failed Pope John Paul II assassination attempt on May 13, 1981.

source: mercy hour

On the 13th October 1917 the apparition of Our Lady found its end with a spectacular natural phenomena. Thousands of bystanders came together on this day to see what they have only heard before from the three children: the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. While many people made fun about the kids and did not believe what had been happening in the past few months, believers should be proven right. If you can believe in the sayings of witnesses, rain was suddenly interrupted by a spinning, pale sun which not only dried clothes from one moment to another, but also irradiated colors and moved closer to earth. Until today no science could explain this sun phenomena.

source: the Catholic Company

Just two years later in 1919, people started to build a chapel at Cova da Iria where the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima took place. However, the events which happened in 1917 were not officially approved by Church authority until 1930. Moreover, the official statement did not vouch for the truth of the apparition. Instead, the church talked about double visions by that time. The famous Basilica which is the main attraction nowadays was not inaugurated until 1953.

source: get your guide


Nowadays, millions of pilgrims make their way to the small town Fatima as it counts to one of the most famous and important places of pilgrimage for Catholics. However, Fatima differs from other places of pilgrimage in many ways: While other places such as for example Lourdes focus on curing diseases and illnesses by miracles, Fatima is a place to repent and ask for forgiveness. This goes back to the so called vision of hell where the Blessed Virgin Mary appealed to the three kids’ better nature by showing them black souls burning for their sins in a sea of fire.

source: TLDM

It is important for the church to clarify that not the supernatural and preternatural phenomena plays a significant role in the dimension of Fatima but the content and meaning of the message communicated to the children. According to the three kids, the Lady of Fatima gave three tasks to not only bring peace to the world but remain peaceful with each other.

Be sorry for what you've done wrong; put God first in your life.

Pray the Rosary each day for peace.

Make sacrifices for sinners so they will know and love God.

This message has been handed down to Catholics by the church for hundred years now.

source: Turismo Centro de Portugal


Throughout the year 2017, the 100th anniversary of the Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima will be celebrated. While normally celebrations of the apparition are only held in the night of the 12th of May with a candlelight procession and in the morning of the 13th of May with the so called farewell procession, the religious celebrations will be extended until the 13th of October 2017 with a cultural program including exhibitions, concerts, performances, conferences and summer courses. The highlight of the wide-ranging program will be the presence of the Pope Francis on the 13th May. Moreover, the International Congress “Thinking Fatima” will be held in June.

Through our many years’ experience with religious tours all around Spain and Portugal, we can guarantee a journey to Fatima at the highest level. While most of our packages include pilgrim paths such as Ignatian way and the way of St. James, we also offer a trip to various religious sites in Spain and Portugal whereby Fatima is the absolute highlight.

If you got interested in celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fatima, do not hesitate to contact us!