Thousands pray at Portuguese shrine

STORY: About 200,000 people traveled to the famous Fatima Roman Catholic shrine to mark the first of three reported visions of the Virgin Mary, also known as Our Lady, more than 100 years ago.

Last year, only 7,500 were allowed inside the sanctuary and people had to stand in circles to maintain social distancing.

For many, it was a special moment to see the sanctuary finally opening doors to a big crowd after the vast majority of COVID-19 rules were lifted last month.

Priests in Fatima blessed a statue of the Virgin Mary and will offer it to a cathedral in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, which has become a refuge and key stop for those fleeing war.