Pope Francis in Fatima prays for peace and underlines: “The Church welcomes everyone”

The Pontiff welcomed by about 200,000 people

Stopover in Fatima for Pope Francis, on his visit to Portugal for World Youth Day. Welcomed by around 200,000 people, the Pontiff recited the rosary in the Shrine with sick young people. The pains of the world are entrusted to Mary and she prays for peace: “Let us pray for peace. May the world be granted a lasting time of peace,” the Pontiff said.

“The Church is welcoming and without doors, it is an open-air sanctuary, it has no doors. This is the mother’s house in the heart of this square that evokes a big maternal embrace. So be it in the Church, which is mother: doors open for all, to facilitate the encounter with God; and place for everyone, because everyone is important in the eyes of the Lord and Our Lady,” he underlined in his brief off-the-cuff speech. Bergoglio observed: “I would like today that we look at the image of Mary and that everyone thinks: what is it showing us? Sometimes even things that don’t work right in our heart. Everyone in her heart say: what is the Mother showing me? What is it about my life that moves and interests you? To Jesus he points to our heart. We feel the presence of Mother Mary close to us. May she bless us all. Let’s greet her with applause.”

The Marian shrine, a destination for pilgrimages from all over the world, has already been visited by the Pope on 13 May 2017 for the centenary of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary. In the Fatima heliport of the Portuguese town, the Pope is welcomed by the bishop of Leiria-Fatima and by the mayor.