Madeleine's parents visit holy shrine

The parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann have made a pilgrimage to Portugal's holiest site to pray for the four-year-old's safe return.

Gerry and Kate McCann travelled to Fatima, home of the Marian shrine, in what is expected to be the first of several visits across Europe in order to raise awareness of their daughter's abduction.

The trip is the first time that Mrs McCann has left Praia da Luz since Madeleine disappeared from the family's holiday apartment on May 3.

According to friends of the family, Mrs McCann had wanted to visit the shrine before Madeleine disappeared and had been even keener to do so since the disappearance.

Both of Madeleine's parents are Catholics had have said that their faith has helped them through their ordeal.

The shrine at Fatima was established to mark the events of 1917 when three children claimed that the Virgin Mary appeared to them.

Millions of pilgrims visit the shrine every year. On the weekend of Madeleine's fourth birthday, around 300,000 pilgrims travelled there to mark the 90th anniversary of one of the visions.

Many of the pilgrims had carried pictures of Madeleine and prayed for her safe return.

Speaking on Tuesday, the McCanns said that they would "travel wherever is necessary" in order to find Madeleine.

It has also emerged that police are re-interviewing two people who had previously been questioned as witnesses over Madeleine's disappearance.

Portuguese police have been speaking to Michaela Walczuch, the German girlfriend of Briton Robert Murat, who is the only formal suspect in the case, and her estranged Portuguese husband Luis Antonio.

Meanwhile, Eastenders has been forced to rewrite a storyline involving the abduction of a baby because of Madeleine's kidnap.

The plot had been due to revolve around the character of Dawn Swann, played by Kara Tointon, who is currently pregnant in the show. The character is involved in a love triangle with her lover Rob Minter, played by Stuart Laing, and his wife, Dr May Wright, played by Amanda Drew.

'Eastenders' said that the story would be rewritten before it was broadcast over the summer.

ITV soap 'Coronation Street' has also been forced to rewrite a similar storyline in the wake of Madeleine's abduction.


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