Information for the preparation and experience of a foot pilgrimage
1. Preparation of the pilgrimage: practical and logistical aspects
- Training walks;
- Toenails trimmed; visit eventually a chiropodist if possible and necessary;
- Some days before, soak your feet in warm salt water.
What to take on the way
- A pair of well-worn shoes to a comfortable fitting;
- An extra pair of shoes for walking and slippers;
- White cotton socks seamless (wear on reverse side);
- Cotton clothing, large, bright and long sleeves (the bare minimum for each day);
- Warm clothing for the night;
- A flashlight;
- Sunscreen and if possible sunglasses;
- A hat and umbrella (and/or a raincoat);
- A balm for chapped lips;
- Water, dried fruit and sugar.
- Don’t forget your pills;
- Follow the recommendations of your doctor and don’t abuse on drugs (analgesics);
- Write your name, address and phone number in your bags;
- Don’t carry much money;
- Don’t use synthetic clothing;
- Don’t use plastics to cover you;
- Don’t take children with you.
2. Recommendations for the way
On the way
- Walk in a single file and not in group;
- Don’t walk on the roads rather on the edge of the roads;
- Avoid walking on main roads;
- If you walk during the night, wear reflective clothing and don’t walk alone;
- Don’t use and don’t allow the use of headphones during the way;
- Don’t use a mobile phone;
- Don’t drink alcohol before and while walking;
- Don’t walk in the hottest part of the day;
- Don’t walk rapidly;
- Don’t walk more than 30 km each day;
- Establish, ahead in time, the places to eat and sleep;
- Be careful with the cars while you are praying or singing;
- If you need to gather the group, do it always outside the road;
- The cars of assistance have to stop on the walking side;
- Help the most tired pilgrims and don’t leave them alone.
- Make an hour break in the morning and two hours after lunch;
- Eat more often light meals;
- Drink in your own glass;
- When you’ll stop, raise your feet higher than your head;
- Respect the rest of others and promote the silence;
- Sleep at least six hours;
- Keep a minimum level of personal hygiene;
- Be careful when using the bathrooms;
- Don’t throw garbage on the floor and leave a clean environment behind you.
In the Assistance Units
- Look for the assistance units identified by a flag of the pilgrims on foot;
- When arriving, wash your feet and wear clean socks;
- Wait for your turn and don’t make noise while waiting;
- Respect and trust the persons who take care of you;
- Ensure the cleanliness of the assistance units;
- Respect the moments of prayer and rest.
3. After arriving in the Shrine of Fatima
- Attend the celebrations of the official program of the Shrine;
- Fulfill your promises with simplicity and spirit of faith;
- Keep silence and respect the prayer of the other pilgrims;
- Reconcile yourself with God and others;
- If necessary, go to the assistance services for the pilgrims on foot;
- Respect the Shrine as a holy place and ensure the cleanliness;
- Eat only in the appropriate places.
4. GPS Location and maps help
The Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima is located at an altitude of about 300 meters, in the Central Region of Portugal; the location of the global positioning system (GPS) is:
Latitude: 39º37'52.06"N | Longitude: 8º40'23.47"W
5. Assistance in the Shrine
During the International Anniversary Pilgrimages (May to October)
In order to provide the minimum conditions to the pilgrims who come on foot to the Shrine of Fatima, some places for accommodation were provided. The welcome of pilgrims on foot is made in the Retreat House Our Lady of Sorrows, next to the First Emergency Aid.
The assistance provided by the Shrine follows these conditions:
- The reception desk to welcome pilgrims on foot opens:
a) in May, on the 9th, at 3:00 pm;
b) in June, July and September, on the 11th, at 9:00 am;
c) in August and October, on the 10th, at 10:00 am;
- No reservation ahead in time;
- Pilgrims are assisted in order of arrival;
- Pilgrims will sleep in rooms or military tents, mattresses on the floor (with pillow, sheet and blanket);
- Tickets will be given so that pilgrims can have a soup for lunch and dinner and coffee with milk for breakfast.
These services are free of charge
Other than the days of the International Anniversary Pilgrimages
The Shrine tries always to provide accommodations to those who made a pilgrimage on foot to Fatima, also in periods other than International anniversary pilgrimages.
The assistance provided by the Shrine is the following:
- Pilgrims sleep in dormitory;
- Groups have to make a reservation ahead in time.
PILGRIMAGE > Keywords of the message of Fatima
DOCUMENTAÇÃO > Subsídios Pastorais > Rosário
“We left home quite early, expecting that we would be delayed along the way. Masses of people thronged the roads. The rain fell in torrents. […] On the way, the scenes of the previous month, still more numerous and moving, were repeated. Not even the muddy roads could prevent these people from kneeling in the most humble and suppliant of attitudes. We reached the Holm oak in the Cova da Iria. Once there, moved by an interior impulse, I asked the people to shut their umbrellas and say the Rosary. A little later, we saw the flash of light, and then Our Lady appeared on the Holm oak.” / Memoirs of Sister Lucia I. 16th ed. Fatima: Secretariado dos Pastorinhos, 2007, p. 182.
“You have counted my wanderings.” / Ps 56:8