|Civil Parish (Freguesia)|
The pilgrims and visitors of Fátima in front of the Shrine of Our Lady
|Official name: Freguesia de Fátima|
|Nickname: Terra de Milagres e Aparições (Land of Miracles and Apparitions)|
|Localities||Aljustrel, Alvaijar, Amoreira, Boleiros, Casa Velha, Casal Farto, Chã, Charneca, Cova da Iria, Eira da Pedra, Fátima, Giesteira, Lomba da Égua, Maxeira, Moimento, Moita Redonda, Moitas, Montelo, Pederneira, Poço Sodo, Ramila, Vale de Cavalos|
|- elevation||325 m (1,066 ft)|
|Highest point||Estremenho Limestone Massif|
|- location||Serra de Aire, Fátima, Ourém|
|- elevation||300 m (984 ft)|
|Length||12.75 km (8 mi), Northwest-Southeast|
|Width||8.62 km (5 mi), Southwest-Northeast|
|Area||71.83 km2 (28 sq mi)|
|Density||160.65 / km2 (416 / sq mi)|
|LAU||Freguesia/Junta de Freguesia|
|- location||Rua do Adro, Fátima, Ourém|
|- elevation||350 m (1,148 ft)|
|President Junta||Natálio de Oliveira Reis (PSD)|
|President Assembleia||Eugénio Pereira Lucas (PSD)|
|- summer (DST)||WEST (UTC0)|
|ISO 3166-2 code||PT-|
|Area Code & Prefix||(+351) 249 XX XX XX|
|Patron saint||Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres and Nossa Senhora de Fátima|
|Parish Address||Rua do Adro 50, 83
|Wikimedia Commons: Fátima|
|Statistics: Instituto Nacional de Estatística|
|Geographic detail from CAOP (2010) produced by Instituto Geográfico Português (IGP)|
Fátima (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈfatimɐ] ( )) is a civil parish in the municipality of Ourém, in the Portuguese Centro Region. With a population of 11,538 inhabitants in 2011, the parish actually 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. It has been permanently associated with the Marian apparitions that occurred in Cova da Iria in 1917 and which were later recognized by the Catholic Church.
The parish was founded in 1568, when it was annexed by the Collegiate of Ourém (Portuguese: Colegiada de Ourém).
The history of Fátima is associated with three children: Lúcia and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who on 13 May 1917, while guarding their sheep in the Cova da Iria, witnessed an apparition of a lady dressed in white. Cova da Iria is now the Chapel of Apparitions or Portuguese: Capela das Aparições. The lady, later referred to as Our Lady of the Rosary, indicated that she was sent by God with a message of prayer, repentance and consecrations. She visited the children each month on the 13th day from May 13 - October 13. The last apparition occurred on October 13, and was witnessed by 70,000 pilgrims, who saw the Miracle of the Sun. In addition, Our Lady of Fátima sent a message that consisted of three secrets: first, a vision of Hell where the souls of the sinful would travel without prayer; the second, prophesied the beginning of the Second World War; and ultimately, the mysterious third secret, which was written down by Lúcia dos Santos in 1944, and held by the Vatican, since 1957.
Lucia became a nun and as Sister Lúcia, she recounted three visits from an angel to her and her cousins. Between April and October in 1916 this angel invited them to pray and do penitence. The angel visited them twice in Loca do Cabeço and once by the well in Lúcia's garden. Jacinta died in 1919 and Francisco in 1920 from the Spanish flu Epidemic of 1918-1920, and were later beatified on 13 May 2000 by Pope John Paul II. Lucia lived until 2005.
In order to mark the location of the apparitions, a wooden arch with a cross was constructed in Cova da Iria. The faithful began to travel in pilgrimage to the site. On 6 August 1918, with donations from the public, a small chapel was begun, built from rock and limestone and covered in tile. With a width of 3.3 metres (11 ft) by 2.8 metres (9.2 ft) length, and 2.85 metres (9.4 ft) height, it began to become a center of Marian devotion, receiving names such as a fé. Fátima, cidade da Paz (the faith of Fatima, City of Peace), or Terra de Milagres e Aparições (Land of Miracles and Apparitions).
The construction of the sanctuary brought local development to the region, which eventually allowed the town of Fátima to be elevated to the status of city on 12 July 1997. Actually, there was a movement in the parish, primarily from the economic sector, who desired that Fátima become its own municipality. But, the project, which was led by engineer Júlio Silva, ex-president of the Junta de Freguesia, was vetoed on July 2003 by Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio, resulting in disappointment among its residents.
Fátima is located on the Estremenho Limestone Massif, on the flanks of the Serra de Aire, approximately 300 metres (980 ft) above sea level. The geology of the Serras de Aire and Candeeiros gives rise to an arid landscape with a rocky ground interspersed with limestone outcroppings. There are various geological formations in the region including sinkholes, uvalas and polje (like the Polje de Minde-Mata), as well as karst grottoes, caves with stalactites and stalagmites, in addition to lapiez fields.
The climate is characterized by heavy precipitation during the winter with approximately 1,400 millimetres (55 in) annually and warm, dry summers.
The trees in this area are primarily dominated by Holly oak (Quercus ilex), Portuguese oak (Quercus faginea), Strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo), Buckthorn and Olive trees, all of which are resistant to the precipitation extremes of the climate. There are also areas of savannah, strips of land bounded by walls of loose stone.
Until 1917, Fátima was an unknown village involved in shepherding and agriculture. It became known worldwide because of the Marian apparitions seen by three young shepherds, occurring between 13 May and 13 October 1917. About 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) from Fátima is Aljustrel, a small hamlet where the three shepherd children were born. To the west, near Aljustrel, is Loca do Cabeço, a smaller agglomeration of rocky outcroppings where, in 1916, an angel appeared twice to the three children.
Twin towns — Sister cities
Fátima is twinned with:
The economy of the town relies on religious tourism because Our Lady of Fátima attracts Christian pilgrimages. The locals of Fátima have a considerable number of shops and stalls devoted to the sale of religious articles and souvenirs. In addition, other economic activities in the region include: marble sculpturing, saw-milling, carpentry, civil construction, commerce, services.
- Cistern of Gaiola (Portuguese: Cisterna em Gaiola)
- Cistern of Ramila (Portuguese: Cisterna em Ramila)
- Cistern of Capuchos (Portuguese: Cisterna dos Capuchos)
- Civil Parish Building of Fátima (Portuguese: Junta de Freguesia de Fátima)
- Fountain of Alvaijar (Portuguese: Fonte do Alvaijar)
- Fountain of Lameira (Portuguese: Fonte da Lameira)
- Fountain of Poço de Soudo (Portuguese: Fonte em Poço de Soudo)
- Fountain of Vale da Pena (Portuguese: Fonte do Vale da Pena)
- Fountain (New) (Portuguese: Fonte Nova)
- House of Casal Farto (Portuguese: Casa em Casal Farto)
- Mill of Fátima (Portuguese: Moinhos em Fátima)
- Mill of Fazarga (Portuguese: Moinhos da Fazarga)
- Mill of Giesteira (Portuguese: Moinhos da Giesteira)
- Mill of Ortiga (Portuguese: Moinho em Ortiga)
- Mill of Ramila (Portuguese: Moinho Arruinado em Ramila)
- Olive Oil Press in Estrada das Matas (Portuguese: Lagar de azeite na Estrada das Matas)
- Porch House with Sundial (Portuguese: Casa Alpendrada com relógio de Sol em Casal Farto)
- Residence of Francisco and Jacinta Marte (Portuguese: Casa onde nasceram os videntes de Fátima / Casa de Francisco e Jacinta)
- Residence of Lúcia de Santos (Portuguese: Casa onde nasceu a vidente de Fátima Lúcia dos Santos / Casa de Lúcia)
- Threshing-floor of Ramila (Portuguese: Eira em Ramila)
- Chapel of Casal Forte (Portuguese: Capela de Casal Forto)
- Chapel of Lombo de Égua (Portuguese: Capela de Lombo de Égua)
- Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Portuguese: Capela da Amoreira/Capela de Nossa Senhora da Conceição)
- Church of Nossa Senhora do Livramento (Portuguese: Capela de Boleiros/Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Livramento)
- Church of Santo António (Portuguese: Igreja Paroquial de Fátima / Igreja Paroquial de Santo António)
- Church of the Santíssima Trindade/Basilica of the Santíssima Trinidade (Portuguese: Igreja da Santíssima Trindade no Santuário de Fátima / Basílica da Santíssima Trindade), on the far side of the sanctuary's esplanade is the basilica, a neo-classical structure with a central tower 65 meters (213 ft) high, which was begun on 13 May 1928. It is flanked by colonnades linking it with the extensive convent and hospital buildings. Within the basilica are the tombs of the three witnesses to the apparitions: Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lúcia dos Santos. It was one of the largest churches in the world, was built on the other side of the esplanade during the beginning of the 21st century.
- Sanctuary of Fátima (Portuguese: Santuário de Fátima)
- Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Ortiga (Portuguese: Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Ortiga)
- Parochial Building of Fátima (Portuguese: Casa Paroquial de Fátima)
- Via Sacra of Santo Estêvão (Portuguese: Lugar do Cabeço de Aljustrel/Lugar de Valinhos/Via Sacra/Calvário/Capela de Santo Estêvão)
The Sanctuary of Fátima, in Cova da Iria, is the principal focus of visitors. Annually pilgrims regularly fill the country roads leading to the shrine. Numbers can reach hundreds of the thousands on 13 May and 13 October, the significant dates of the apparitions in Fátima.
- INE, ed. (2010), Censos 2011 - Resultadas Preliminares [2011 Census - Preliminary Results] (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: Instituto Nacional de Estatística, retrieved 1 January 2012
- IGP, ed. (2010), Carta Administrativa Oficial de Portugal (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: Instituto Geográfico Português, retrieved 1 July 2011
- Walsh, William Thomas (1 October 1954), Our Lady of Fátima, Random House, ISBN 978-0385028691
- Junta Freguesia, ed. (2011), História (in Portuguese), Fátima (Ourém), Portugal, retrieved 12 October 2012
- Junta Freguesia, ed. (2011), Caracterização (in Portuguese), Fátima (Ourém), Portugal, retrieved 12 October 2012
- "Association of Towns awarded The Europe Prize". www.czestochowa.um.gov.pl. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
- Trudy Ring (1996), p.245