Roman Catholic pilgrims from all over the world gathered in the village of Fatima in central Portugal on Tuesday (13 May).
Roman Catholic pilgrims from all over the world gathered in the village of Fatima in central Portugal on Tuesday (13 May). They were there to celebrate the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three peasant children in 1917. Pilgrims visit the shrine twice a year, many coming with the hope of being cured of their illnesses.
An estimated 400,000 pilgrims were in Fatima on Tuesday to join in a procession and attend a Mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Koenig. Tuesday's festival was quieter than the last pilgrimage in October, 1974. Strict security measures were in force then, with police manning roadblocks because of fears of internal terrorists attempting to cause major disruptions.
The first national pilgrimage to Fatima took place in 1927, and on the 50th anniversary of the vision over a million pilgrims heard Pope Paul VI saying Mass.