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Every year since then on the anniversaries of the apparitions, May 13 and Oct.
13, the streets of Fatima swell with throngs of pilgrims who make their way to the holy site.
He decreed that only those educated in Armagh were fit to spread the gospel, so numerous educational institutions were founded. More than 100,000 religious tourists visit annually to see the statue of the Black Madonna in the abbey’s lavishly decorated Baroque church.
The seat of both Protestant and Catholic archbishops, Armagh is the most venerated of Irish cities. Also on visitors’ agendas are Diorama Bethlehem, regarded as the world’s largest nativity display with 450 hand-carved figures, and Panorama Crucifixion of Christ, a giant circular painting.
American pilgrims need to register online in order to receive one.
The largest pilgrimage site in France is Lourdes, which takes in some five million pilgrims a year.
Tourists stay in one of 270 hotels in the city in order to visit the Sanctuary of Lourdes (commonly called the Domain). Patrick’s Trian, in a former church behind the tourist office, has exhibits on city history and St. Armagh is going through an extensive city-center regeneration project, which includes upgrading all surfaces and adding new pedestrian walkways.
The Domain includes the Grotto where pilgrims can dispense Lourdes water from the taps and 22 separate places of worship on 126 acres. When Christianity spread to the region in the 400s A. Patrick established his church there and Armagh became the ecclesiastical capital of the island. Einsiedeln gained popularity as a religious tourist destination thanks to its Benedictine Abbey, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Switzerland.
More than a million pilgrims a year visit the Chapel of Grace (built around 700) and its Black Madonna.
As history tells it, a child drowned in a nearby river in 1489 and his mother took his body to the altar at the foot of a wooden statue of the Black Madonna.