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Greg Burke on Pope in Fatima: "More Than Apostolic Visit, an Apostolic Pilgrimage"

Director of Press Office Mentions a Novelty: Francis’ 4 Discourses Will Be Delivered in Portuguese

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«More than an Apostolic Visit, it is an Apostolic Pilgrimage.»
This was said by Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, this afternoon during a briefing on Pope Francis’ Apostolic Visit to Fatima, May 12-13. This marks Francis’ 19th Apostolic Visit and 28th country visited.
It also marks the Holy Father’s first visit to Portugal. He clarified that one need not count the time he switched flights in the airport, but did not step outside.
Greg Burke noted that it is interesting how this visit to Fatima had been planned a time ago. Then, in the meantime, the April 28-29 trip to Egypt took place, without much notice.
During the two-day visit, the Pope will give four discourses, and a novelty: they will all be delivered in Portuguese.
This trip marks 50 years from when Pope Paul 6th went to Fatima. Francis’ recent predecessors have gone including Benedict XVI in 2010 and John Paul II, who had visited Fatima three times, in 1982, 1991, and 2000.
Greg Burke pointed out that it was also on May 13, 1981, in which there was the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II, who accredited his living through the tragic event to the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima.
Returning to Pope Francis’ upcoming visit, the director of the Holy See Press Office said Francis had been invited to Fatima by the president of Portugal and the bishops.
«It is a very natural visit,» the fact that Francis goes to Fatima for the centenary of the Marian apparitions, but at the same time «it should neither be assumed that just because there is the anniversary, that it would be a ‘given’ that the Pope would visit.»
«More than an Apostolic Visit, it is an Apostolic Pilgrimage,» he said.
«This is a Marian pilgrimage happening in the month of May,» one of faith and hope, he expressed.
The Vatican press office director reiterated that during the visit, the canonization will take place of Francisco and Jacinta, the two young visionaries who were «martyred.»
Turning to the religious make up of the country, it is at least 80 percent Christian, and majority Catholic. There are three archdioceses.
The Pope leaves Rome at 2 p.m. and arrives in Monte Real in three hours. As far as a time difference, Portugal is one hour behind Rome.
The Vatican spokesman prepared journalists for heavy crowds, noting there will be many people, in a space that is relatively small. He noted that all is more or less walking distance.
The Vatican director went through the Pope’s program which can be found below:

Pilgrimage of His Holiness Francis to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on the occasion of the centenary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Cova da Iria (12-13 May 2017) – Programme:
Friday 12 May 2017:
14:00     Departure by air from Rome Fiumicino airport for Monte Real.
16:20     Arrival at the air base of Monte Real.
Welcome ceremony.
16:35     Private meeting with the President of the Republic in the Monte Real air base.
16:55     Visit to the air base chapel.
17:15     Transfer by helicopter to the stadium of Fatima.
17:35     Arrival at the Fatima stadium and transfer by open vehicle to the Shrine.
18:15     Visit to the Chapel of the Apparitions.
Prayer of the Holy Father .
21:30     Blessing of the Candles of the Chapel of the Apparitions.
Greetings from the Holy Father.
Reciting the Holy Rosary.
Saturday 13 May 2017:
09:10     Meeting with the Prime Minister at the “Nossa Senhora do Carmo” House.
09:40     Visit to the Basilica of “Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Fatima”.
10:00     Holy Mass at the churchyard of the Shrine.
Holy Father’s homily.
Holy Father’s greetings to the sick
12:30     Lunch with bishops of Portugal at the “Nossa Senhora do Carmo” House.
14:45     Farewell ceremony in the Monte Real air base.
15:00     Departure by air from the Monte Real air base, destined for Rome.
19:05     Arrival at Rome Ciampino airport.
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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