Fatima is a small town located to the north of Lisbon. Considered to be one of the major catholic shrines on the planet, Fatima attracts as many as four million pilgrims and visitors each year who come to the town due to its connection with Virgin Mary and because of the miracles that took place here.
The Three Secrets
On July 13, 1911, Virgin Mary revealed three secrets to three children, which included prophecies that have since been proven true. These secrets were written down only in the year 1941. The first described hell in the most horrific of ways. The second foretold the end of World War I and the beginning of World War II. The last prophecy was held in wraps until the year 2000 as it foretold an assassination attempt of a pope.
The Day the Sun Danced
The town of Fatima witnessed several apparitions with the last one taking place on October 13, 1917. The apparition was witnessed by as many as 60000 people who reported seeing the clouds part, the skies open up and the sun spin in various colors or go completely dark for several minutes before appearing to plunge towards earth.
The best time to visit Fatima is on pilgrimage days in May and October. There are a number of torch-lit processions that are held in the evening in Cova de Iria, the place where Virgin Mary was believed to have appeared in front of the children.