The famed statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be present at tomorrow’s General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. The presence of the image will commemorate the 98th anniversary of the Virgin Mary’s appearance to three shepherd children in Portugal.
Responding to Pope Francis’ desire to have the statue present, the Roman chapter of UNITALSI (The Italian National Union of Transport of the Sick to Lourdes and International Shrines) coordinated the efforts to bring it to the Vatican.
Disabled youth assisted by the association, who will be present at tomorrow’s audience, also helped through a collection. The day will also symbolically open the season of UNITALSI pilgrimages of Lazio, the next of which is scheduled for June 3, 2015 to Fatima.
“We received with great pleasure Pope Francis’ request, and we will be with him with over 100 disabled persons to celebrate this important anniversary,” said Father Gianni Toni, Ecclesiastical Assistant of Roman Latian UNITALSI
“We are proud that precisely on the day dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima, our statue will bind symbolically the Marian Shrine to Saint Peter’s Square, in a prayer of peace and hope.”