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Vatican releases Pope’s schedule for Fatima visit

A statue of Our Lady of Fatima is carried through a crowd of pilgrims at Fatima (CNS)

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope Francis will lead the evening recitation of rosary and celebrate Mass on the anniversary at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima when he visits Portugal on May 12-13.

The Pope will make the two-day pilgrimage to the site where Mary appeared to three shepherd children on May 13, 1917. The apparitions continued once a month until October 13, 1917, and later were declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church.

During his visit, the Pope also will meet with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and have lunch with the bishops of Portugal.

Pope Francis will be the fourth pontiff to visit the Marian shrine, following in the footsteps of Blessed Paul VI, St John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who each made visits on a May 13 to mark the anniversary of the first apparition.

Here is the schedule for the Pope’s trip to Fatima as released by the Vatican March 20. All times are local.

Friday, May 12 (Rome, Fatima)
— 2pm Departure from Rome’s Fiumicino airport.
— 4.20pm Arrival at Monte Real air base in Leiria, Portugal. Welcoming ceremony.
— 4.35pm Private meeting with the president of Portugal at the Monte Real Air Base.
— 4.55pm Visit to the Monte Real air base chapel.
— 5.15pm Transfer by helicopter to Fatima stadium.
— 5.35pm Arrival at Fatima stadium and transfer to the shrine.
— 6.15pm Visit and prayer at the Little Chapel of the Apparitions.
— 9.30pm Blessing of the candles at the chapel. Speech by pope and recitation of the rosary.

Saturday, May 13
— 9.10am Meeting with prime minister of Portugal at Our Lady of Mount Carmel house in Fatima.
— 9.40am Visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima.
— 10am Outdoor Mass at the basilica. Homily by pope. Greeting by Pope to the sick.
— 12.30pm Lunch with the bishops of Portugal at Our Lady of Mount Carmel house in Fatima.
— 2.45pm Farewell ceremony at the Monte Real air base.
— 3pm Departure for Rome.
— 7.05pm Arrival at Rome’s Ciampino airport.