Tens of thousands of pilgrims gathered at the holy shrine of Fatima on May 13 to celebrate one of the Catholic Church's most important anniversaries.
GV Cathedral with crowd in foreground
CU PULL BACK TO SV Pilgrim carrying baby on her knees to cathedral
SV ZOOM INTO CU Another pilgrim crawling on all fours
GV Cathedral bell tolling
GV Statue of the Virgin Mary being carried through singing crowd
CU Clerics leading procession carrying statue
CU PULL BACK TO SV Invalids in beds and wheelchairs singing as statue passes (2 shots)
GV ZOOM INTO SV Priest conducting service to congregation outside cathedral
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Background: Tens of thousands of pilgrims gathered at the holy shrine of Fatima on May 13 to celebrate one of the Catholic Church's most important anniversaries. It was here on may 13, 1917, that the Virgin Mary was said to have appeared to three shepherd children. The story goes that she made the sun dance in front of a huge crowd gathered expectantly to await a sign promised by the children. A second apparition occurred on October 13 that year. The shrine was built afterwards, and each year on the anniversary of the first apparition pilgrims have marked the event by attending ceremonies in the town. This year's celebrations included a procession through the town, and a mass in the local cathedral. Many of the pilgrims were disabled. Some crawled along the streets on their knees. Others were in wheelchairs and on stretchers. They hoped their visit to the shrine would lead to a miraculous cure. Fatima, which is 144 kilometers (90 miles) north of Lisbon, has grown from poverty-stricken village into a sprawling complex of hotels and souvenir shops. It was while on a visit to the town two years ago that an attempt was made on the life of Pope John Paul II. A young priest armed with a knife tried to break through a security cordon as the Pope passed by him.