Roman Catholic pilgrims from throughout the world gathered in the village of Fatima in central Portugal on Thursday (13 May) to celebrate the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three shepherd children in 1917.
GV crowd in square in front of church (3 shots)
CU religious banners
LV AND SV altar under canopy with pilgrims praying (2 shots)
LV and CU sick people on stretchers with relatives praying (3 shots)
CU sick child receiving attention from nurse
CU status of Virgin Mary
CU sick people receiving Communion from Cardinal Baggio (2 shots)
SV ZOOM OUT TO GV sick on stretchers
GV PAN ACROSS Crowd TO empty stretcher
SV AND CU pilgrims receiving Communion (3 shots)
SV and CU Priests showing relic to sick people
GV and SV Cardinal Baggio shows relic to crowd (3 shots)
Initials RH/1529 RH/PK/MR/1604
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Background: Roman Catholic pilgrims from throughout the world gathered in the village of Fatima in central Portugal on Thursday (13 May) to celebrate the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three shepherd children in 1917. Pilgrims visit the shrine twice a year, many with the hope of being cured of their illnesses.
The police estimate that tens of thousands of visitors were in Fatima on Thursday to join tin a procession and attend a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Sebastion Baggio of Italy.
Many of the pilgrims had walked from all over Portugal to attend one of the holiest events in the Roman Catholic calender. However, the visitors had difficulty finding lodging, as most of the hotels were filled with settlers from the former Portuguese African colonies.
The first national pilgrimage to Fatima took place in 1927, and on the 50th anniversary of the vision over 1,000,000 pilgrims heard Pope Paul VI say Mass.
In Fatima the Virgin Mary appeared to the shepherd children in a series of visions, recognised by the Catholic Church as miracles. During the ceremonies, Cardinal Baggio showed the symbolic relic of the visions - a gold sunburst. The sunburst recalls the solar phenomenon reported by the village people just after the visions.