Centenary of the Marian Apparitions of Fatima
The Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican celebrates the centenary of the Marian apparitions near Aljustrel, a community close to the small town of Fatima in Portugal, as witnessed by three young shepherds: 10 year old Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Francesco and Giacinta Marto, 9 and 7 years old respectively. One day while they were playing in the field of Cova da Iria where they would bring their sheep to graze, there appeared "a beautiful Lady radiating a bright light" who introduced herself as Our Lady of the Rosary. After the first apparition, the lady exhorted the three children to return to the same place on the 13th day of the following month, and also for five more encounters, from 13 May to 13 October, when she revealed a series of historical events that would have happened in the following years. In 1930 the Catholic Church recognized the supernatural nature of the apparitions, authorizing devotion and the construction of a shrine in Fatima, which Pope Francis visited from 12 to 13 May 2017.