Fátima

Fátima fä´tēmə [key], hamlet, W central Portugal, in Beira Litoral. At the nearby Cova da Iria is the national shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima. This became a great Roman Catholic center of pilgrimage after the six reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary to three shepherd children, May 13–Oct. 13, 1917. An impressive basilica was begun in 1928 and consecrated in 1953, and the Church of the Holy Trinity, one of the largest churches in the world, was consecrated in 2007. Two of the children, siblings Francisco Marto (1908–19) and Jacinta Marto (1910–20), were canonized in 2017 by Pope Francis; their cousin Lúcia de Jesus dos Santos (1907–2005) ultimately became a Carmelite nun.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Spanish and Portuguese Political Geography