The pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima will make its way to Damascus, Syria, during the month of September.
The announcement of the statue’s visit was made last Wednesday by the rector of the Shrine of Fatima, Father Carlos Cabecinhas. The purpose of the pilgrimage is “to implore the maternal intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the peace and well-being of the Christian communities of the country who are suffering the destruction of war.”
During a press conference, Fr. Cabecinhas stated that the visit of the statue was in response to a petition made by His Beatitude Gregory III Laham, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and Alexandria and Jerusalem.
“The message of Fatima is a message of peace,” Fr. Cabecinhas said.
He also called on the faithful to accompany the pilgrimage with their prayers “so that the Lord may grant peace to Syria and strengthen the Christians who live there.”
The rector of the Shrine of Fatima also stated in a recent editorial in the Arab edition of the Shrine’s bulletin that an offering of three bullets and a handkerchief were offered by three nuns to the bishop of Leiria-Fatima, in honor of three Christians who were martyred in 2013. These, like so many others, Fr. Cabecinhas said, are related to the third secret of Fatima which prophesied the martyrdom of Christians.
In this aspect, he concluded, the “third secret, while anguishing in the beginning, ends with an image of hope.” (J.A.E.)