Pope Francis and RSHM in Fatima

Posted May 28, 2017

Pope Francis’ trip to Fátima, on the occasion of the celebration of the Centenary of the Apparitions and the canonization of the “little shepherds” Francisco and Jacinta Marto, had been announced by the Vatican as a “pilgrimage”. And it was, truly! On 12 and 13 May, the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to the Shrine of Fátima were visited by the “pilgrim of hope and peace”.
The arrival of Pope Francis at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima was unforgettable. Waiting for him, in the Chapel of the Apparitions, were 150 children, including 50 students from our school in Fátima, Colégio do Sagrado Coração de Maria. Among the multitude of pilgrims who lived these moments of unique beauty and simplicity, we were RSCM, collaborators and youth of the youth movement CoMTigo.
The moment was very moving when Pope Francis prayed in silence in front of the image of Our Lady of Fátima, an attitude intensely shared by the thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. The recitation of the rosary and the procession that flooded the night with light were moments of deep spiritual experience, as was the Eucharist the following morning, which included the canonization of Francisco and Jacinta Marto and, in the end, the “Farewell to Fátima”, always so emotional.
In the few hours of his visit to Portugal, Pope Francis witnessed and gave us the testimony of the strength of faith, confirmed the certainty that we are tenderly and eternally loved (“We have a Mother!”); he called everyone to build peace and to service to others; insisted on the defense of the voiceless, the sick, the excluded and abandoned, the orphans and wronged; and, in his own words, “unleashed a general mobilization against this indifference that chills the heart and aggravates the myopia of the eye.”
From the celebration of the Centenary of the Apparitions at Fátima, the lives of Francisco and Jacinta, examples of holiness in simplicity, are etched in my heart; and in my memory, the defiant words of Pope Francis echo: “Under the protection of Mary, let us be in the world ‘watchers of the dawn’ who know how to contemplate the true face of Jesus the Savior, the one who shines at Easter, and rediscover the young and beautiful face of the Church, which shines when it is missionary, welcoming, free, faithful, poor in means and rich in love. ” (Ana Luísa Pinto, RSCM)

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