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Fatima, Portugal Fatima is situated in west central Portugal, approximately 110 kilometers north of Lisbon, and is one of the most visited Marian shrines in the world day. Unlike many of Europe's great Marian pilgrimage sites which date back to the Middle Ages, Fatima's sanctity is only fairly recent, i.e. from early in the 20th century. There are no historical or legendary evidence of the village or surrounding areas having had any religious significance in earlier times. In 1916 and 1917, three young children saw a series of apparitions which profoundly altered both their own lives and the atmosphere of the peasant village. In the past it was a small rural village in a rocky region whose main product was olive oil. These days, pilgrimages and tourism have transformed the village into a key tourist destination.