Address: Rua de San Josè, 34 - Fatima - Portugal

Pia União Filhas e Filhos do Coração Imaculado de Maria - It all started when the founding mother, Maria Liliana, and Father Roberto drove their caravan heading to Fatima in September, 1980. There, they reached Nora e Gianni, a newly-wed couple of lay people of the community on their honeymoon. When they reached the Sanctuary – as Roberto usually says – “they felt at home”.

This is the beginning of the story : they reached Fatima driving a caravan and they left with the purchase agreement for a house situated 400 metres from the Sanctuary. “It was the only house near the Sanctuary on sale and it was a clear sign that the Lord wanted us in Fatima” : this is what Maria Liliana felt in that holy square and this awareness grew stronger and stronger in our hearts.

At the beginning our only thought was to finish the construction of the house, adapting it to the Community’s necessities, still not knowing what our life would be like and what sort of activity we could start there. In Fatima and around Fatima there are no campsites: at first, Maria Liliana suggested starting up one. In this camsite, pilgrims wouldn’t find only an accomodation facility, but also a centre of Marian spirituality and guides who could give guidance to the pilgrims. Also the Rector of the Sanctuary agreed on this project but ... it wasn’t God’s project!

“Your ways are not my ways” – as prophet Isaiah says. The house , which at first had been designed to be the house for the members of the Community, became a “Marian Centre” which hosts pilgrims and offers a spiritual recharge. In Fatima, everything speaks of peace, a Peace that comes from God’s and Mary’s presence. If you have ever been to Fatima, if you have been to the square of the sanctuary, whose heart is the Chapel of the Apparitions, you have surely experienced what Maria Liliana meant when she said “she felt at home” and “Our lady wants us to be here”

Ever since, we have taken many groups around : some people had just happened to be there “by chance”, others have reached fatima a bit skeptical or for curiosity or tourism – but they have all left with something different in their hearts. Something that the Lord had put in their hearts, thanks to the meeting with Virgin Mary. Virgin Mary came to Fatima as a Pilgrim : in the evening, after the prayer of the Holy Rosary, the Virgin is carried in procession and soon after the apparitions, Our lady of Fatima is carried all over the world in far-away dioceses and parishes, so that every believer can worship her.

She is a Pilgrim among pilgrims : she stands by every single man and woman, because she knows what solitude, pain, suffering and death mean. As a Mother, she can’t leave every single human being in pain and sorrow.

What can a pilgrim do in Fatima? First of all, if you don’t have a guide, ask the volunteers in the Sactuary to help you getting to know the message that Our Lady left us. They can also help you showing the different historical places. You can find brochures and leaflets at the Information Center and other religious material, like the prayer that the Angel had taught the 3 children one year before the apparition of Our Lady, in 1916.


Fatima - May 2006