On 3 May 1922, the bishop of Leria (Fatima), Jose Carreia da Silva,
opened the official investigation into the apparitions,
which were declared worthy of belief on 13 May 1930.
The bishop’s pastoral letter states:
“We: (1) Declare worthy of belief the visions of the shepherd children in the Cova da Iria, parish of Fatima, in this diocese, from 13 May to 13 October, 1917. (2) Permit officially the cult of Our Lady of Fatima.”
The apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima have been the subject of keen interest on the part of every Pope since 1917 and several have gone there as pilgrims.
1944 – Pope Pius XII established the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
1946 – On 13 May 13 1946, the papal legate Cardinal Masella crowned a statue of Our Lady of Fatima at the Cova da Iria on behalf of Pope Pius XII.
1956 – Cardinal Roncalli (later Pope Saint John XXIII), in his homily at Fatima prayed through the intercession of Mary for the grace of justice, mercy and peace. When Cardinal Roncalli became Pope, he established the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.
1965-67 – Pope Paul VI stressed the importance of the Fatima message. In a speech at the end of the third session of the Second Vatican Council he promised to send a Golden Rose to Fatima. He sent it to the shrine in 1965, with the papal legate, Cardinal Cento. Paul VI went on pilgrimage to Fatima on 13 May 1967 on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the apparitions.
1977 – Cardinal Luciani (later Pope John Paul I) went on pilgrimage to Fatima on 10 July 1977 and prayed a Rosary there.
1982 to 2000 – Pope Saint John Paul II was well known for his deep devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. On 13 May 1982, first anniversary of the 1981 assassination attempt, he placed a votive offering of a golden rosary in the sanctuary in gratitude for Our Lady saving his life. On 13 May 2000, Pope Saint John Paul II beatified Francisco and Jacinta Marto in Fatima.
2008 – Pope Benedict XVI instructed the beatification process of Sister Lucia to begin earlier than the required five years after her death. In May 2010 he went on pilgrimage to Fatima.