Pope prayed with hundreds of thousands at the Fatima pilgrimage site

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Pope Francis visited the Portuguese city of Fatima on Saturday. He prayed in front of or with hundreds of thousands of people in the critical Catholic pilgrimage site – among other things, for peace. The head of the church used his trip to the World Youth Day in Lisbon for a short detour to the place north of the capital, where in 1917, the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared several times to three shepherd children.

Mary still leads the faithful to Jesus today, the pontiff said. Earlier, he had prayed the rosary with the visitors – among them many sick people and people with disabilities – in the Apparition Chapel of the Marian shrine, Kathpress reported. According to the report, in his address, the Pope stressed that he wanted a church open to all people.

According to local authorities, about 200,000 people attended the event in the large square in Fatima. Francis arrived by helicopter from Lisbon and drove through the crowd in an open popemobile. He then sat down in front of the statue of the Virgin Mary and prayed silently. It had been announced beforehand that the Pope wanted to pray for peace in the world. The detour to Fatima had been put on the program of the trip at relatively short notice.

Fatima is one of the largest Marian pilgrimage sites in the world. In 1917 three shepherd children reported seeing Our Lady several times near Fatima.

Fatima is one of the largest Marian shrines in the world. In 1917, three shepherd children reported that Mary appeared to them several times near Fatima. During some of the apparitions, according to the children, Mary uttered prophecies that became known as the “Mysteries of Fatima.” They include events from later 20th-century history, including a reference to the 1981 papal assassination attempt in which John Paul II was seriously injured.

Francis then flew back to Lisbon at noon, where he later met with Jesuits and prayed together in the evening (9:45 p.m. CEST) with World Youth Day participants in Tejo Park. On Sunday, the event ends, and the Pope returns to the Vatican.

  • source: APA/picture: unsplash.com
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