Lisbon, Portugal, Dec 27, 2018 / 10:01 am
When the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima in 1917, Portugal had already acclaimed Mary as their reigning Queen for hundreds of years. After the coronation of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception as "Queen of Portugal" by King João IV in 1646, no Portuguese monarch ever wore a crown again.
The history of exceptional Marian devotion near Fatima dates back even further.
Fourteen miles from the Fatima Shrine is the Batalha Monastery, where several dozen Dominican friars were commissioned in 1388 to pray a perpetual rosary in thanksgiving for the Virgin Mary's protection of Portugal.
The gothic monastery in Batalha was built in dedication to Our Lady of Victory in gratitude for an answered prayer. In 1385 King Joao I made a vow to the Virgin Mary that he would build a great monastery if she would deliver him victory in a battle against the Spanish.