His Holiness Francis at the Celebration of Fátima
Portugal– Many Popes, from an early age, have shown special interest in the Apparitions of Our Lady in Fátima. In 1942, Pius XII – who was consecrated as bishop on the very day of 13 May 1917 – consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, having addressed, in Portuguese, “all those who climbed the holy mountain of Fátima.” St. John XXIII, Cardinal Roncalli, visited Fátima when he was still Patriarch of Venice, always demonstrating great devotion for the Virgin, as proved by what he later wrote, as Pope: “Lady of Fátima, I thank you for having invited me to this celebration of mercy and of love.”
However, the rst Pope to visit Fátima during his term in o ce was Paul VI, who went there in person on 13 May 1967, saying holy mass and declaring: “… we have come, humble and trusting pilgrims, to this blessed Shrine, where today we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Fátima apparitions and where today we commemorate the twenty- fth anniversary of the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
St. John Paul II must be regarded as the Pilgrim Pope of Fátima. He visited the shrine three times, one of which was in gratitude for the Virgin’s intercession on the occasion of the assassination attempt of which he was target. The bullet that passed through his abdomen on 13 May 1981 can today be found in the crown on the image of the Virgin at Cova da Iria, the same image that, in 2000, the Pope presented to the bishops of the world and in front of which he consecrated the third millennium to the Virgin of Fátima.
Benedict XVI was in Fátima in his role as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, on 13 October 1996, and visited the shrine as Pope on 13 May 2010.
In 2017, this extraordinary year, on the Centennial of the Apparitions, His Holiness Francis will preside over the celebrations in Fátima on 13 May.
On the Marian Journey that was part of the Year of Faith in 2013, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and in the presence of the image that came expressly from Fátima, Pope Francis said in Rome: “It is Mary who always leads us to Jesus.” And he added: “Progressing on this spiritual pilgrimage is nothing less than following Jesus.” On this occasion, the Pope asked Our Lady of Fátima to accompany the “life of humanity with her gaze and her smile.”
On 13 May 2017, he will be in Cova da Iria, renewing these vows in front of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from around the world
Issue Date: 13.03.2017
Designer: Atelier Folk Design
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