Fatima is a town located in Portugal, is formed by a community of about ten thousand inhabitants, and has jumped to the headlines for being one of the most famous places in the world where the apparitions of Our Lady occurred.
History has it that three little shepherds, two little brothers and a little cousin, while they were taking the flock to pasture, saw a figure of a woman appear, who presented herself to them as the Madonna.
Francisco, Giacinta and Lucia, once left the locality of Cova da Iria (where they took the cattle to the pastures), returned to the town saying that they had witnessed the apparitions of what later presented itself to them as the Madonna.
The Apparitions go on in Time
After the first time that the three little shepherds saw this Marian apparition, others followed one after the other with a fixed frequency in which many other witnesses also managed to participate.
The apparitions of the Madonna of Fatima were 5 in all, and took place on the 13th of each month, from May to October of that year.
Our Lady of Fatima’s Messages
The apparitions of the Madonna at Fatima are also characterized by messages that the Lady of Fatima gradually gave to those present, interfacing with the three little shepherds.
Famous has become the now famous Third Secret of Fatima, which carries with it an aura of mystery because many believe that in fact the church has never fully revealed it.
The Three Little Shepherds
Our Lady of Fatima decided to entrust her messages to the three little shepherds, giving them an indication of the ways in which they should spread them.
Unfortunately, both Francisco and Jacinta died shortly after, caught by the epidemic that plagued those places in those times, the only survivor who became an adult was Lucia; she too died but in adulthood and after having dedicated a life to the church as a cloistered nun.
The Miracle of the Sun
One of the events that made the mystery of Fatima even more intense was a phenomenon that many could witness in those sacred places: “The miracle of the sun”.
Numerous witnesses swore that they had been suddenly caught by this unknown phenomenon that saw the sun spinning and as if it were falling to earth. Many scholars have said over the years that this was a normal optical phenomenon. Kevin McClure even wrote a book in 1917 entitled “The Evidence for Visions of the Virgin Mary”.
Stuart Campbell later argued that this phenomenon could be due to the presence of dust in the stratosphere, which could alter the visual perception of the sun.
In short, they have said themselves of all colors, and it seems that despite this today the cult of Our Lady of Fatima does not diminish, on the contrary.
Pilgrimages to Fatima
In fact, after several decades, Fatima has become even more of a reference point for pilgrims from all over the world. Because of this, several specialized religious tourism tour operators were born. This is also how a flourishing business was born for the whole world, which sees millions of pilgrims every month, making pilgrimages to Fatima or other places of worship such as Lourdes and the Holy Land, in a safe and convenient way thanks to the specialized tour operators.