Sanctuary of the Apparitions
Sanctuary of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Santuario de las Apariciones
Facade of the sanctuary
42°26′02.2″N 8°38′47.4″W / 42.433944°N 8.646500°W / 42.433944; -8.646500
LocationPontevedra, Spain
EventsPontevedra apparitions
DioceseRoman Catholic Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela

The Sanctuary of the Apparitions (Santuario das Aparicións in Galician and Santuario de las Apariciones in Spanish) is a Catholic convent and sanctuary located in Pontevedra, Spain. According to Sister Lúcia, it was here that the child Jesus and the Virgin Mary appeared to her in 1925-1926 and revealed to her the First Saturdays Devotion.[1]

It is the third most visited Marian pilgrimage destination in the world, with over 12 million visits recorded up to 2022.[2] The sanctuary is known as the "Spanish Fátima".[3][4]


The sanctuary is located at 3 Sor Lucía Street in the historic centre of Pontevedra.

On the site where the sanctuary is located, there was a building from the early Middle Ages, of which traces of stonemasonry and a walled door with decorative reliefs have been preserved.[5][6]

Sister Lúcia's cell, now a chapel

The building was constructed in the mid-16th century.[7] In the 19th century, the building was the palace of the Arias Teijeiro family (Antonio and José, father and son), the latter being a Carlist politician and universal minister.[5][8]

In 1918, the Marquis of Riestra rented the building to the Dorothean sisters, who opened a school there.[7][9] In 1925, Sister Lúcia, one of the three visionaries of Fátima, Portugal, became a Dorothean sister in Galicia. While in her room in this convent in Pontevedra two months after her arrival, on 10 December 1925, Sister Lucia had a vision of the child Jesus and the Virgin Mary with her heart surrounded by thorns. The second apparition took place on 15 February 1926 in the convent garden, where the child Jesus urged her to do more to promote the devotion.[10]

In 1927, Sister Lúcia wrote that the Virgin Mary had revealed to her the First Saturdays Devotion in 1925,[5][11] which consists of going to confession, receiving Holy Communion every first Saturday of the month for five months (in reparation for five types of blasphemy), praying the rosary and meditating on its mysteries.[12][13][14]

Pope John Paul II granted it the status of a sanctuary in 2000 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the apparitions.[15][16]

The building was renovated in 2022, with the refurbishment of the second floor and a new roof.[4]

Main chapel


Statue of the Virgin of Fatima

The building is a simple, two-story façade made of stone. On the ground floor, 15th-century semicircular arches supported by Tuscan half-columns frame the door and windows.[17]

Inside, there is a main chapel (on the ground floor) and a small chapel where the Child Jesus and the Virgin Mary appeared to Sister Lúcia, the visionary of Fátima. There is also a walled doorway with an ogee arch from the 16th century.[6] The covent's hostel rooms are on the first floor.[2] Sister Lúcia's cell, where the Virgin Mary appeared to her, is on the second floor.[4] The old medieval cloister, dating from the end of the 15th century, had semicircular arches supported by Tuscan columns.[6]


  1. ^ Milagros Bará (16 July 2015). "El Santuario de las apariciones". Diario de Pontevedra (in Spanish).
  2. ^ a b José Estévez (9 June 2022). "El Santuario de las Apariciones inicia su primera fase de rehabilitación". Diario de Pontevedra (in Spanish).
  3. ^ "El Santuario de las Apariciones, «el Fátima español», esquiva la ruina en Pontevedra". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 11 May 2023.
  4. ^ a b c José Estévez (9 October 2022). "El Santuario de las Apariciones prevé su reapertura en el plazo máximo de dos semanas". Diario de Pontevedra (in Spanish).
  5. ^ a b c José Benito García Iglesias (13 October 2017). "El Santuario de las Apariciones". Pontevedra Viva (in Spanish).
  6. ^ a b c Rafael Fontoira Surís (2009). Pontevedra Monumental (in Galician). Pontevedra: Deputación de Pontevedra. p. 157. ISBN 978-84-8457-327-2.
  7. ^ a b "Una casa que las monjas doroteas alquilaron al marqués de Riestra". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 19 February 2005.
  8. ^ Riveiro Tobío 2008, p. 27
  9. ^ "Doroteas: un siglo de enseñanza". Faro (in Spanish). 25 April 2018.
  10. ^ Santiago Tedeschi Prades (15 February 2022). "El Santuario de las Apariciones en Pontevedra en estado ruinoso: conoce su historia y ayuda a salvarlo". Cadena COPE (in Spanish).
  11. ^ "La devoción al Inmaculado Corazón de María: sor Lucía, vidente de Fátima, explica por qué urge" (in Spanish). Religión en libertad. 22 December 2017.
  12. ^ Aganzo 2010, p. 79
  13. ^ "La devoción de los Cinco Primeros Sábados" (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  14. ^ Javier Martínez Brocal (16 March 2022). "El Papa consagrará Rusia para evitar una catástrofe, como pidió la Virgen de Fátima en las apariciones". ABC (in Spanish).
  15. ^ Salvador Rodríguez (8 September 2019). "El mensaje de Fátima que llegó a Galicia". Faro (in Spanish).
  16. ^ "El Santuario de las Apariciones reabrirá al público el 22 de abril tras dos años de obras". Diario de Pontevedra (in Spanish). 14 April 2023.
  17. ^ Susana Regueira (20 August 2012). "Un claustro medieval en sor Lucía". Faro (in Spanish).


Aganzo, Carlos (2010). Pontevedra. Ciudades con encanto (in Spanish). Madrid: El País-Aguilar. p. 79. ISBN 978-8403509344.

Fontoira Surís, Rafael (2009). Pontevedra monumental (in Galician). Pontevedra: Diputación Provincial de Pontevedra. p. 157. ISBN 978-84-8457-327-2.

Riveiro Tobío, Elvira (2008). Descubrir Pontevedra (in Spanish). Pontevedra: Edicións do Cumio. p. 27. ISBN 9788482890852.

See also