Portugal Trip to Show God's Action in History

Father Lombardi Comments on Pope’s Fatima Visit

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 9, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is going to Fatima to show how God acts in history, which is one of the key lessons of the Virgin Mary’s apparitions to three Portuguese little shepherds, says a Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, analyzed in an editorial of the latest edition of the Vatican Television Center program «Octava Dies» the reasons why the Holy Father is visiting Portugal this month.

The Pontiff will travel to Portugal from May 11-14, on the 10th anniversary of the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco Marto.

«John Paul II wanted the ‘third secret’ of Fatima to be revealed on the occasion of the beatification of the two little shepherds, Francisco and Jacinta, during the Jubilee of 2000, transition between two millenniums,» said Father Lombardi. «A century was ending characterized by great sufferings, on which in fact the visions of Fatima gave at once a dramatic and luminous interpretation: time of war and of martyrdom, in which the Church and the Pope himself shared profoundly the sufferings and thirst for salvation of the whole of humanity.»
«To two ignorant children, in an insignificant place — as is characteristic of great Marian events — was entrusted a message that in its simplicity, released a spiritual force able to surmount borders and to be transmitted beyond the grave circumstances of history of humanity,» continued the spokesman.
In his editorial, Father Lombardi wondered what the Fatima message can tell us, now that the secret has been revealed of events that have occurred.

He recalled the comment of the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at the conclusion of the publication of the text of the «secret,» which stated: «Action of God, Lord of history, and co-responsibility of man, in his dramatic and fecund liberty, are the two bases on which the history of humanity is built. The Virgin who appeared in Fatima is calling us to return to these forgotten values, to this future of man in God, of which we are an active and responsible part.»
Father Lombardi concluded: «We need pure and innocent eyes to read the path of the new millennium and to understand where its risks and truest hopes are. The message of Fatima retains all its seriousness vis-à-vis history.»

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