POSTCARD from Fatima


Fatima, with the 2007 basilica in back and to the right, the Chapel of the Apparitions, built where Mary is said to have appeared to three children in 1917. The last vision was Oct. 13, 1917.


Inside the Chapel of Apparitions, a statue of Mary marks where the three children said the Blessed Mother spoke to them.

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.


Some pilgrims approach each of the three major shrines on their knees. They wear knee pads and a smooth path eases their way — but it’s still a long way to go on your knees.

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



One response to “POSTCARD from Fatima

  1. My grade school in California was “Our Lady of Fatima” … each year they showed an ancient black-and-white film of the childrens’ story to us, which both fascinated and frightened me. Definitely a place I’d like to see some day, but in the meantime, thank you for bringing it to me here! 🙂

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