Pope Francis set to visit Portugal in August, says Vatican

The Vatican Secretary of State on Friday said Pope Francis is set to visit Portugal in August.

He said this during a pilgrimage to the shrine of Fatima in the centre of the country.

The Argentinian pontiff plans to attend World Youth Day, a global gathering of young Catholics, to be held this year in Lisbon from 1-6 August.

“You can’t come to Portugal without coming to Fatima” and “all the popes have always paid a lot of attention to Fatima,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin told reporters during a visit to the town.

The 86-year-old pope “wants to come back especially to pray,” he added.

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More than a million pilgrims are expected to attend the annual youth event, which holds every three years.

Pope Francis visited the Fatima shrine in 2017 when he declared sainthood for two young shepherds who had visions of the Virgin Mary there over 100 years ago

The Virgin Mary is said to have appeared six times between May and October 1917 to Jacinta, then seven, Francisco, nine and their cousin Lucia, ten.

“The presence of the Pope in Fatima in August will be a special moment,” said the rector of the shrine, Father Carlos Cabecinhas, indicating that the Argentine pontiff “will certainly give new emphasis to the issue of peace.”

AFP

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