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Pope entrusts joys and sufferings of the Church to Mary

· Prayer in the Chapel of the Apparitions in Fatima ·

On Wednesday, 12 May, after addressing representatives of the world of culture, the Holy Father returned to the Apostolic Nunciature where he had a private meeting with H.E. Mr José Sócrates, Prime Minister of Portugal. After the private meeting, the Pope took his leave of the Nunciature personnel and collaborators before being driven to Lisbon Airport. He was met in Fatima by Bishop António Augusto dos Santos Marto of Leina-Fátima, the Mayor, the Director of the Municipal Board of Ourém and the local Military Authority. Fr Virgílio do Nascimento Antunes, Rector of the Shrine, greeted the Pope on his arrival at the Chapel of the Apparitions. The Holy Father knelt to pray before the statue of Our Lady, offering a golden rose. The following is a translation of the Pope's Prayer in Portuguese.

Prayer to Our Lady

Holy Father:

Our Lady,

Mother of all men and women,

I come before you as a son

visiting his Mother,

and I do so in company

with a multitude of brothers and sisters.

As the Successor of Peter,

to whom was entrusted the mission

of presiding in the service

of charity in the Church of Christ

and of confirming all

in faith and in hope,

I wish to present to your

Immaculate Heart

the joys and hopes

as well as the problems and sufferings

of each one of these

sons and daughters of yours

who are gathered in the Cova di Iria

or who are praying with us from afar.

Mother most gentle,

you know each one by name,

you know each one's face

and personal history,

and you love them all

with maternal benevolence

that wells up from the very heart

of Divine Love.

I entrust and consecrate them all

to you, Mary Most Holy,

Mother of God and our Mother.

Cantors and Assembly: We sing to you and we praise you, O Mary (v. 1)

Holy Father:

The Venerable Pope John Paul II,

who visited you three times

here in Fatima

and thanked the “unseen hand”

that rescued him from death

in the assassination attempt

on 13 May in Saint Peter's Square

almost thirty years ago,

wanted to offer to the Shrine of Fatima a bullet which gravely wounded him

and was placed in the crown of the Queen of Peace .

It is a profound consolation

to know that you are crowned

not only with the silver

and gold of our joys and hopes,

but also with the “bullet”

of our anxieties and sufferings.

I thank you, beloved Mother,

for the prayers and sacrifices

that the shepherd-children

of Fatima offered for the Pope,

led by the sentiments

that you inspired in them

in the apparitions.

I also thank all those who, every day,

pray for the Successor of Peter

and for his intentions,

that the Pope may be strong in faith,

bold in hope and zealous in love.

Cantors and Assembly: We sing to you and we praise you, O Mary (v. 2)

Holy Father:

Beloved Mother of us all,

here in your Shrine at Fatima

I consign the Golden Rose

that I have brought from Rome

as a homage of gratitude

from the Pope

for the marvels that the Almighty

has worked through you

in the hearts of so many

who come as pilgrims

to this your maternal home.

I am sure that

the shepherd-children of Fatima,

Blessed Francisco and Jacinta and

the Servant of God Lucia of Jesus,

are united with us

at this hour of prayer and jubilation.

Cantors and Assembly: We sing to you and we praise you, O Mary (v. 5).

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