Fátima is a parish in Portugal which spans several villages and areas north of Lisbon. Fátima is an old parish; it was founded way back in 1568. Today, the parish is synonymous with the apparitions of Our Lady of Fátima which occurred in 1917 and have long been recognized by the Catholic Church.
The history of Fátima is associated with three local children: Lúcia dos Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto. On May 13 of 1917, while guarding their sheep in the Cova da Iria (now the Chapel of Apparitions), the three children witnessed an apparition of a lady dressed completely in white. 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 on the 13th day of each month from May to October. The last apparition occurred on 13 October 1917; the 70,000 pilgrims in attendance witnessed 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 Dos Santos transcribed in 1944, and has been held by the Vatican since 1957.
Dos Santos became a nun, and as Sister Lúcia, recounted three prior visits from an angel to her and her cousins. Between April and October in 1916, this angel invited them to pray and do penance, visiting them twice in Loca do Cabeço and once by the well in the Dos Santos family's garden. Jacinta died in 1919 and Francisco in 1920 from the Spanish flu Epidemic, and they were later beatified on 13 May 2000 by Pope John Paul II. Lúcia meanwhile remained a nun until she herself died in 2005.