By request of Syrian bishops, Our Lady of Fatima will travel from Portugal to Syria on September 7th. It's the same day that Pope Francis held a day of fasting and prayer in St. Peter's Square, two years ago.
September 7, 2013
"Forgiveness, dialogue, reconciliation – these are the words of peace, in beloved Syria, in the Middle East, in all the world.”
Monsignor Antonio Marto, the Portuguese bishop whose jurisdiction includes Fatima, said that the visit will symbolically oppose fanaticism and violence. During one of the annual pilgrimages made to the sanctuary, he denounced international organizations for being silent while entire Christian populations are being eliminated.
Since 2011, Syria has been consumed by a civil war with no end in sight. The Islamic State has taken over large swaths of the country. Three million Syrian refugees left the country, while another 6.5 million are internally displaced.
The image that will travel to Syria, as is often the case, is not the one which is actually in the sanctuary, where the apparitions took place. Instead, it's a "pilgrim” image that travels throughout the world to encourage devotion.
The apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima will have happened 100 years ago in 2017. The sanctuary is one of the most important ones in the Catholic world.