05/11/2017, 10.23
VATICAN - FATIMA
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Pope Francis: For Our Lady of Fatima, the most beautiful flowers, our brothers and sisters from all over the world redeemed by his blood

Ahead of his pilgrimage to the Virgin's shrine the Pope sends a video message to the Portuguese people. The pilgrimage entitled "With Mary, Pilgrim in Hope and Peace" begins tomorrow and afternoon.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis goes to Fatima to offer Mary "a bouquet of the most beautiful 'flowers' that Jesus entrusted to my care: that is, my brothers and sisters from all over the world who were redeemed by his blood., excluding no-one. " This is the express intention of the pontiff on the eve of his pilgrimage to Fatima (May 12-13, 2017), in the centenary of Our Lady’s appearance to the three shepherds in a video message broadcast last night, addressed to the Portuguese people, in which the Pope apologizes his trip to the sanctuary of Fatima, in Cova d'Iria, without visiting the whole country. The motto of the pilgrimage is "With Mary, pilgrim in hope and in peace." Here is the full text of the video message, originally in Portuguese (translated by AsiaNews).

Dear Portuguese people!

There are few days left before my and your pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima, in expectation of  our happy encounter at the Mother's house. I know that you also want me to come to your homes and communities, to your towns and villages: I received your invitation! I would have liked to be able to accept that invitation but it is impossible, and I thank you for the understanding with which my decision to keep my visit circumscribed to the Fatima Sanctuary, where I hope to meet you at the feet of the Virgin Mother, has been received.

In fact, I come to her as a universal pastor, to offer her the most beautiful bouquet of "flowers" that Jesus has entrusted to my care (cf. Jn 21: 15-17):  that is, my brothers and sisters from all over the world who were redeemed by his blood.. You see? I need to have you with me; I need your communion (physical or spiritual, what is important is being there at heart) for my bouquet of flowers, my "golden rose". By forming "one heart and one soul alone" (Acts 4, 32),  I will give you all to Our Lady, asking her to whisper to each one of you: 'My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God" (apparition June 1917).

"With Mary, Pilgrim in Hope and Peace": this is the motto of our pilgrimage, in essence a program of conversion. I am happy to know that you are preparing for this blessed moment,  the apex of a centenary of blessed moments, with intense prayer which widens our hearts and prepares them to receive the gifts of God. Thank you for the prayers and sacrifices you offer every day for me, of which I have great need, because I am a sinner among sinners, "a man of impure lips who dwells in the midst of a people with impure lips" (Isaiah 6: 5). Prayer illuminates my eyes to see others as God sees them, to love others as He loves them.

In her name, I come to you in the joy of sharing the Gospel of hope and peace with you. May the Lord bless you and the Virgin Mother to protect you!

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