As you might or might not be aware Fatima in Northern Portugal is a pilgrimage site for thousand Roman Catholics of tourists each year. But 2017 is a special occasion as its the centenary of the first of the last apparition in Fatima. Over a 100 years devote and not so devote pilgrims and tourist alike came in their hundred of thousands to witness Fatima.
In the Begining, the Portuguese Govenerment objected to Fatima and at times used force to enforce those objections. But the local believers persisted and Fatima began developing as a Marian Shrine. Over the years Fatima has developed into a huge place of religious devotions. Which includes a vast Basilica, hotels, hostels, and apartment accommodation. Many visitors include a visit to Fatima while on a holiday to Portugal. Booking online a villa in Albufeira or a Lagos apartment would not be uncommon with Fatima visitors. More stay in Lisbon apartments to rent and drive or take public transport to the shrine. There is excellent transport links to Fatima. The culmination of celebrations this year is a visitor by Pope Francis.
There is a detailed program planned for the visit in May by Pope Francis to the Catholic shrine at Fátima, in Portugal.
Last December “the Vatican officially announced that the Pope Francis was coming to Portugal, responding to the invitation that had been made to him by the Portuguese bishops and by the President of the Republic.” The visit is scheduled for 12 and 13 May.
Although full details are not yet available.
However, Pope Francis does not plan to visit any other parts of Portugal, unlike his two predecessors when they visited the shrine.
He is just come to Fátima, as a pilgrim, to pray with the pilgrims present here and with those who will accompany him through the media.
The pontiff’s visit to the shrine at Cova da Iria in Fátima is to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the apparition of the Virgin Mary to three child shepherds.
There was recently in Fatima a seminar for foreign tour companies those attending the same seminar expressed satisfaction at the way infrastructure and hotel capacity in Fátima had developed, and said they expected strong growth in visitor numbers this year. Booking of villas in Portugal near Fatima is in full swing.
At the seminar’s closing session Portugal’s secretary of state for tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho, based in Lisbon called on companies in the sector to overcome any lingering “preconceptions” about the religious segment of the market and work together to make Fátima an “anchor” to promote Portugal abroad. She noted that last year Portugal had seen growth in the number of tourists from markets where it had previously made few inroads, such as the US, South Korea, Brazil, and Poland.