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Rome Reports

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Marian Day: Pope Francis and Benedict XVI to welcome statue of Our Lady of Fatima

Pope Francis is getting ready to celebrate Marian Day in St. Peters Square along with thousands of pilgrims. The celebrations will be held on Saturday October 12th and Sunday the 13th. The Pope will entrust the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This years celebration will have a special guest: The original statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be flown into Rome.   

MSGR. RINO FISICHELLA 

President, Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization 

"The statue of Fatima should arrive to Rome's Fiumicino airport on Saturday at around 2 o' clock. We hope there are no delays. The direct flight is from Lisbon to Rome.â? 

As part of the Year of Faith, the theme of this year's Marian Day is 'Blessed are you for Believing.' The statue itself will be officially welcomed by Pope Francis on Saturday at around 5 o'clock. A long list of activities are available for pilgrims before and after. 

MSGR. RINO FISICHELLA 

President, Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization

"On Saturday morning, at 8:00a.m, we'll have a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter. Then we'll have a Eucharistic Adoration nearby in the Santa Monica church. The pilgrimage will start at four o clock and visitors are asked to welcome Our Lady of Fatima with a white handkerchief, which has become part of the tradition. Pope Francis will give his catechesis at 5 o clock, but St. Peter's Square will be officially opened at 2. 30 in the afternoon to welcome everyone.â? 

The Vatican also announced that Benedict XVI will privately pray before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, just moments after it's flown into the Vatican by helicopter. Back in 2010, Benedict XVI actually visited her Shrine and celebrated Mass. 

This year's celebration will coincide with the last recorded apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, back on October 13th, 1917. On Sunday afternoon, the statue is scheduled to fly back home to Portugal. 

KLH 

MG 

JM 

-BN

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