Portuguese American Journal

Vatican: Late Pope Benedict XVI visited Fátima in 2010 – Portugal

Benedict XVI (1927-2022) visited Portugal from May 11 to May 14, 2010, at the invitation of President Aníbal Cavaco Silva, to preside over the religious ceremonies at Marian Sanctuary of Fátima on May 13th where he was joined by over 500,000 pilgrims.

On his pastoral visit to Portugal, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima, to celebrate the 10th jubilee anniversary of the beatification, by Pope John Paul II in 2000, of two of the three shepherd children, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, who were witnesses to the apparitions.

In Fátima, Benedict XVI met Sister Lúcia dos Santos, one of the visionary children, who was a nun at the time of his visit.  Sister Lúcia, who passed away in 2005, was one of the three children who claimed to have witnessed visions of the Virgin Mary in Fátima.

The pastoral visit was significant because it marked the 93rd anniversary of the Marian apparitions that occurred in Fátima in 1917.

Pope Benedict’s pilgrimage was seen as an opportunity for him to honor the legacy of the Virgin Mary and to encourage the faithful to continue to pray for peace in the world.

While in Portugal, besides the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima, he celebrated Mass at various locations, including a Mass at the Porto Cathedral.

He also met with representatives of the Portuguese Catholic Church and addressed young people on the issue of secularization in Europe. The apostolic visit was seen as an opportunity for Pope Benedict to strengthen the ties between the Catholic Church and the people of Portugal, and to encourage the Catholic community in the country.

Pope Benedict XVI is one of five Holy Fathers who have visited Portugal. Pope Francis, who plans to attend the World Youth Day (WYD), to be held in Lisbon August 1-6, 2023, visited Portugal for the first time in May 2021, where he met with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and was a pilgrim at the Marian Sanctuary in Fátima; Benedict XVI visited Portugal in May 2010, where he met with President Aníbal Cavaco Silva and was a pilgrim at the Marian Sanctuary; Pope John Paul II visited Portugal for the first time in May 1982, where he met with President António Ramalho Eanes and was a pilgrim at the Our Lady of Fátima Sanctuary which he visited three times (1982, 1991, 2000) during his pontificate. The first Pope to visit Fatima was Paul VI, on May 13th, 1967, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apparitions of Fátima and the 25th anniversary of the Consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Fátima has been permanently associated with the Marian Apparitions that occurred in Cova da Iria, in 1917, where three shepherd children reported seeing the Blessed Virgin Mary between May 13 and October 13, 1917. The Our Lady of Fátima apparition re-occurrences were first recognized officially by the Roman Catholic Church in 1930.

Pope Benedict XVI visited the United States from April 15 to April 20, 2008. His journey included meetings with then President George W. Bush, who gave him a small birthday celebration on the White House south lawn, an address to the United Nations General Assembly, Masses at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. and Yankee Stadium in New York City, and a visit to Ground Zero in New York, among other activities.

Pope Benedict XVI, whose birth name was Joseph Ratzinger, was the Pope of the Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013, He died Saturday, December 31, 95 years old. He was born in Marktl am Inn, Germany, on April 16, 1927, and was ordained as a priest in 1951. He served as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as well as a cardinal, before being elected Pope in 2005. Alleging health issues and incapacitation to continue the demands of the papacy, Pope Benedict XVI announced his intention to resign on February 28, 2013, to become “Pope Emeritus.” He was replaced by Pope Francis who was elected bishop of Rome and sovereign of the Vatican City State on 13 March 2013. Benedict’s passionate faith was formed during his youth in southern Germany under the lengthening and darkening shadow of Nazism. A distinguished conservative theologian, he authored more than 50 books.



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