An appointment with our Mother
· The Pope’s video message on the eve of his pilgrimage to Fatima ·
In a video message transmitted on Wednesday afternoon, 10 May, just days before his journey to Fatima for the celebrations of the centenary of the Marian Apparitions, Pope Francis made an appointment with the people of Portugal, “at the feet of Our Lady of Fatima”. In the video, he apologizes for not being able to accept the myriad invitations he has received to visit their “homes and communities”, their “towns and cities”. He also expresses his gratitude “for the understanding with which the various Authorities accepted my decision to restrict my Visit to the usual events associated with a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Fatima”.
Francis explains that “it is as the universal pastor” that he would like to offer Our Lady “a bouquet of the most beautiful ‘blossoms’ that Jesus has entrusted” to his care, namely, all brothers and sisters from every part of the world, “none excluded”. For this reason he asks all the people of Portugal for their “closeness, whether physical or spiritual; the important thing is that it come from the heart”, so as to help him arrange his “bouquet of flowers”, his “golden rose” for Our Lady.
The Pope quotes the motto of the pilgrimage: “With Mary, a pilgrim in hope and in peace”, which “contains an entire programme of conversion”. And says he is “happy to know that in anticipation of that blessed moment, the culmination of a century of blessed moments”, the Portuguese have been preparing with “intense prayer”. He then goes on to thank them all for the daily sacrifices they offer on his behalf, because, he says, “I am a sinner among sinners”. Indeed, the Pontiff states, “prayer gives light to my eyes and enables me to see others as God sees them, and to love others as he loves them”. The video concludes with the Pope’s promise to come among the people in Portugal and to share “with everyone the Gospel of hope and peace”.
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