A hundred years ago today, three children living in rural Portugal said they saw visions of the Blessed Mother who spoke to them and even made the sun dance.
The three children have all been declared saints and their remains rest inside the cathedral at Fatima.By October 13, 1917, the children claimed the Mother of Jesus appeared and spoke to them six times.
Their visions created a sensation that has continued to this day. The faithful and the curious flock to this little town in Portugal to pray at the site of the visions. Three shrines are must-sees. The Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima, opened in 1953, the Chapel of the Apparitions, a low-slung building marking the spot where the children reported seeing their visions, and the Church of the Most Holy Trinity built to mark the 90th anniversary in 2007.
I visited in 2013. It is a place of tremendous faith. I was taken in by the hordes of pious visitors, the striking architecture of the three churches and the possibility that Our Lady of Fatima visited here.
Ⓒ Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman