With more than 570 years of existence, the diocese, to which the Shrine of Fatima belongs to, has one of the more recent designation: from diocese of Leiria, designation conferred by Pope Paul III in the Pro excellenti papal bull, of May 22nd, 1545, to diocese of Leiria-Fatima in May 13th, 1984.
The diocese was created by request of King João III; its patron are Our Lady of Fatima and Saint Augustine.
It was extinguished for political reasons on September 4th, 1882, and reestablished by Benedict XV by the papal bull Quo vehementius, on January 17th, 1918, i.e. after the Apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima (which occurred between May and October 1917).
By a decree of the Congregation of the Bishops, on May 13th, 1984, confirmed by the papal bull Qua pietate, of John Paul II, of the same date, the title of Leiria-Fatima was given to the diocese.
Since its reestablishment, in 1918, the diocese was led by: Mgr. José Alves Correia da Silva, Mgr. João Pereira Venâncio, Mgr. Alberto Cosme do Amaral, Mgr. Serafim de Sousa Ferreira e Silva and from June 25th, 2006, Mgr. António Augusto dos Santos Marto; band as auxiliary bishops.
The diocese was served by Mgr. Domingos de Pinho Brandão, as auxiliary bishop who worked with the bishop Mgr. João Venâncio.
With 270.000 inhabitants, the diocese has a surface area of 1.700 km2 and is divided into 75 parishes which belong to the municipality of Leiria, Marinha Grande, Batalha, Porto de Mós, Ourém and part of Pombal, Alcanena and Alcobaça.
The clergy of the diocese of Leiria-Fatima is composed of two bishops (one is emeritus bishop, Mgr. Serafim Ferreira e Silva) and 93 diocesan priests, six priests from other dioceses and 11 religious priests,
From the diocesan priests, eight serve outside the diocese.
The diocese is also composed of consecrated life institutes, 15 men’s religious institutes, 48 women’s religious institutes, three society of apostolic life, three secular institutes and 52 communities of associations of the faithful. Around 880 consecrated people live in these religious communities.
In the diocese of Leiria-Fatima, there are also 52 associations, movements and ecclesial works of apostolate and spirituality.
The social solidarity institutions, including the social centers of parishes and “misericórdias” (institutes based on the works of mercy), are 45, and the catholic schools are 6.
There are also in the diocese Leiria-Fatima 48 mass media organizations, among newspapers, radio, television channels and bulletins.