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Rome Reports

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First stop in Portugal: Emotional encounter with sick soldiers and their families

The Holy Father left Rome's Fiumicino airport for Portugal just after two o'clock in the afternoon. ; This is his nineteenth apostolic trip, and he will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, as well as canonize two of the young visionaries, Francisco and Jacinta Marto. His plane landed at the Portugal's Monte Real airport at 4:20 p.m.. There, he was received by the President of the Portoghese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. The pope then went with him to the control tower, where they held a meeting behind closed doors for a few minutes. When they finished, Pope Francis visited the air base chapel. Outside, there were sick soldiers accompanied by their relatives affectionately waiting for him. ; At all times, the pope was accompanied by a choir whose songs were filled with emotions at each and every one of his gestures. ; He even signed autographs. Pope Francis was accompanied by two priests in charge of the base's pastoral care. This was the pope's first stop after his landing. He then moved in this military helicopter to Fatima, located 25 miles away. AQ/JC CTV FL -BN Up:jc