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Pope visits Portuguese shrine identified for apocalyptic prophesy linked to Russia as warfare rages on

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FATIMA, Portugal — Pope Francis visited the Portuguese city of Fatima on Saturday to wish for peace at a shrine that has captivated Catholics for a century.

The shrine is thought for apocalyptic prophesies of hell, peace and Soviet communism which have discovered new relevance with Russia’s warfare in Ukraine.

Francis was spending the morning on the Fatima shrine, praying with sick folks and prisoners, alongside pilgrims who started filling Fatima’s central esplanade lengthy earlier than dawn. As Francis’ army helicopter landed on the Fatima helipad, close by wildfires turned the sky smoky black and despatched ash flittering down on the group.

The journey is a quick tour from Lisbon, the place Francis has been presiding over World Youth Day celebrations, the massive Catholic jamboree that has gathered almost 1 million younger Catholics collectively. He returns to the Portuguese capital for a Saturday evening vigil service after which will preside over a closing Mass on Sunday, the place the positioning of the subsequent version of the religion competition will probably be introduced.

The Fatima story dates again to 1917, when in accordance with custom, Portuguese siblings Francisco and Jacinta Marto and their cousin Lucia stated the Virgin Mary appeared to them six instances and confided to them three secrets and techniques. The primary two described an apocalyptic picture of hell, foretold the tip of World Battle I and the beginning of World Battle II, and portended the rise and fall of Soviet communism. The youngsters have been between 7 and 10 years {old}.

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On the time of the apparitions, Europe was nonetheless within the grip of World Battle I and Portugal’s Catholic Church was dealing with a disaster after Portugal grew to become a republic in 1910. The republican authorities launched a bunch of anti-clerical legal guidelines, together with prohibiting spiritual educating at colleges. In that context, during which monks and bishops have been exiled, the visions helped reinvigorate a persecuted church.

In 2000, the Vatican disclosed the long-awaited third secret, describing it as foretelling the Might 13, 1981, assassination try in opposition to St. John Paul II in St. Peter’s Sq., which fell on the anniversary of the unique imaginative and prescient.

In response to later writings by Lucia, who grew to become a nun and died in 2005, Russia could be transformed and peace would reign if the pope and all of the bishops of the world consecrated Russia to the “Immaculate Coronary heart of Mary.” Lucia later claimed that John Paul fulfilled that prophecy throughout a 1984 Mass, though he by no means specified Russia within the prayer.

Final 12 months, in a prayer for peace following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Francis corrected the 1984 omission and consecrated each Russia and Ukraine to Mary.

Francis has made repeated appeals for an finish to Russia’s warfare, incessantly expressing solidarity with the “martyred” Ukrainian folks whereas refraining from criticizing Russia by identify. Not too long ago, he despatched an envoy to Kyiv, Moscow and Washington on a mission to attempt to facilitate the return of Ukrainian kids taken to Russia.


Related Press faith protection receives help by way of the AP’s collaboration with The Dialog US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely chargeable for this content material.

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