Vatican releases pope’s schedule for Fatima visit

By Junno Arocho Esteves
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Celebrating the 100th anniversary of apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope Francis will lead the evening recitation of rosary and celebrate Mass on the anniversary at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima when he visits Portugal May 12-13.

The pope will make the two-day pilgrimage to the site where Mary appeared to three shepherd children May 13, 1917. The apparitions continued once a month until Oct. 13, 1917, and later were declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church.

During his visit, the pope also will meet with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and have lunch with the bishops of Portugal.

Pope Francis will be the fourth pontiff to visit the Marian shrine, following in the footsteps of Blessed Paul VI, St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, who each made visits on a May 13 to mark the anniversary of the first apparition.

Here is the schedule for the pope’s trip to Fatima as released by the Vatican March 20. All times are local, with Eastern Daylight Time in parentheses:

Friday, May 12 (Rome, Fatima)

— 2 p.m. (8 a.m.) Departure from Rome’s Fiumicino airport.

— 4:20 p.m. (11:20 a.m.) Arrival at Monte Real air base in Leiria, Portugal. Welcoming ceremony.

— 4:35 p.m. (11:35 a.m.) Private meeting with the president of Portugal at the Monte Real Air Base.

— 4:55 p.m. (11:55 a.m.) Visit to the Monte Real air base chapel.

— 5:15 p.m. (12:15 p.m.) Transfer by helicopter to Fatima stadium.

— 5:35 p.m. (12:35 p.m.) Arrival at Fatima stadium and transfer to the shrine.

— 6:15 p.m. (1:15 p.m.) Visit and prayer at the Little Chapel of the Apparitions.

— 9:30 p.m. (4:15 p.m.) Blessing of the candles at the chapel. Speech by pope and recitation of the rosary.

Saturday, May 13

— 9:10 a.m. (4:10 a.m.) Meeting with prime minister of Portugal at Our Lady of Mount Carmel house in Fatima.

— 9:40 a.m. (4:40 a.m.) Visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima.

— 10 a.m. (5 a.m.) Outdoor Mass at the basilica. Homily by pope. Greeting by pope to the sick.

— 12:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m.) Lunch with the bishops of Portugal at Our Lady of Mount Carmel house in Fatima.

— 2:45 p.m. (9:45 a.m.) Farewell ceremony at the Monte Real air base.

— 3 p.m. (10 a.m.) Departure for Rome.

— 7:05 p.m. (1:05 p.m.) Arrival at Rome’s Ciampino airport.

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