Fátima Portugal

Fátima

Fátima is a civil parish in the municipality of Ourém, in the Portuguese Santarém District. The population in 2011 was 11,596, in an area of 71.84 km². The parish encompasses several villages and localities of which Fátima, with a population of 7,756 residents, is the largest. Part of the urban agglomeration of Leiria, it is 187 km (116 mi) south of Porto and 123 km (76 mi) north of Lisbon.

The civil parish has been permanently associated with the Marian apparitions that were witnessed by three shepherd children at the Cova da Iria in 1917. The Catholic Church later recognized these events as "worthy of belief". A small chapel was built here in honor of Our Lady of Fátima, beginning in 1918, and a statue of her installed; the chapel and statue have since been enclosed within a large shrine and basilicas. Associated facilities, including a hotel and medical facility, have also been built over the decades at this site. Each year thousands of pilgrims visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima.

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