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Rome prepares for an arrival from Fatima
Statue to be present as Pope Francis entrusts the world to Mary
- Vatican City
- August 27, 2013
This coming 13 October Pope Francis will entrust the world to Mary, as part of the Year of Faith initiative. This is in continuation with the acts performed by his predecessors, from Pius XII to John Paul II and is a demonstration of Francis’ deep devotion to the Virgin Mary.
The original statue of Our Lady of Fatima, with the bullet that struck John Paul II (in the 13 May 1981 attempt on his life) set in the Virgin Mary’s crown, will arrive in St. Peter’s Square in the afternoon of Saturday 12th and Francis will be there to receive it. This is the 10th time in just under a century that the Marian effigy leaves the Chapel of Apparitions in Fatima, Portugal. In the evening the statue will be taken to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Divine Love in Rome, where a prayer vigil will be held. On morning of October 13th, the statue will return to St. Peter’s Square, where the Pope will celebrate mass after the Rosary and will consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The first of these consecrations took place during Pius XII’s pontificate. On 31 October 1942, right in the middle of the Second World War, Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the radio in Portuguese, mentioning Russia especially, according to the instructions received by the three little shepherds during the apparition at Fatima. Another consecration was made by John Paul II on 25 March 1984, when tensions were running high because of the European missile crisis.
The original statue was brought back to the Vatican on 8 October 2000, when John Paul II entrusted the new millennium to Mary in the presence of 1500 bishops from all across the world. His words –pronounced eleven months before the September 11 attacks – were not understood at the time. He said the world was at a crossroads and could either transform itself into a blooming garden or into a pile of ruins.
Full Story: Francis and Fatima
Source: Vatican Insider/La Stampa