Pope Benedict’s Homily in Fatima

Today is the Feast of the Ascension, at least at the Vatican. Elsewhere, though, it’s the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. And that is the Mass the Pope celebrated this morning at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, where many thousands of people were gathered. 

The official text of the Holy Father’s homily is below, and it is worth reading. He points out the hope in which we are grounded, and the way forward during this period of “penance and purgation.” He also makes clear that despite the “terrifying” sins of some within the church, the faith that is grounded in the love of God remains the same.

Dear Pilgrims,

Their descendants shall be renowned among the nations […], they are a people whom the Lord has blessed” (Is 61:9).  So the first reading of this Eucharist began, and its words are wonderfully fulfilled in this assembly devoutly gathered at the feet of Our Lady of Fatima.  Dearly beloved brothers and sisters, I too have come as a pilgrim to Fatima, to this “home” from which Mary chose to speak to us in modern times.  I have come to Fatima to rejoice in Mary’s presence and maternal protection.  I have come to Fatima, because today the pilgrim Church, willed by her Son as the instrument of evangelization and the sacrament of salvation, converges upon this place.  I have come to Fatima to pray, in union with Mary and so many pilgrims, for our human family, afflicted as it is by various ills and sufferings.  Finally, I have come to Fatima with the same sentiments as those of Blessed Francisco and Jacinta, and the Servant of God Lúcia, in order to entrust to Our Lady the intimate confession that “I love” Jesus, that the Church and priests “love” him and desire to keep their gaze fixed upon him as this Year for Priests comes to its end, and in order to entrust to Mary’s maternal protection priests, consecrated men and women, missionaries and all those who by their good works make the House of God a place of welcome and charitable outreach.

These are the “people whom the Lord has blessed”.  The people whom the Lord has blessed are you, the beloved Diocese of Leiria-Fatima, with your pastor, Bishop Antonio Marto.  I thank him for his words of greeting at the beginning of Mass, and for the gracious hospitality shown particularly by his collaborators at this Shrine.  I greet the President of the Republic and the other authorities who serve this glorious Nation.  I spiritually embrace all the Dioceses of Portugal, represented here by their Bishops, and I entrust to Heaven all the nations and peoples of the earth.  In God I embrace all their sons and daughters, particularly the afflicted or outcast, with the desire of bringing them that great hope which burns in my own heart, and which here, in Fatima, can be palpably felt.  May our great hope sink roots in the lives of each of you, dear pilgrims, and of all those who join us through the communications media.

Read the rest here

 

Irene Lagan

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Irene Lagan is the general manager of Guadalupe Radio in Washington, DC. She is a former collaborator for the English language section of Vatican Radio, has written for several publications, and holds a Masters degree in philosophy. She served as managing editor at the National Catholic Bioethics Center while in Boston, and has been published in Ethics & Medics, the National Catholic Register, Zenit, Franciscan Way, the Arlington Catholic Herald, and The Boston Globe. In addition, she has taught university students as an adjunct professor and has consulted in the area of communications and development for non-profit organizations.

  • georgie-ann

    thank you,…

  • J. Sampaio

    Irene,
    Let me add something more about the amazing visit of the Pope to Portugal. It has been a HUGE SUCCESS. Enormous crowds follow him and cheer him everywhere. Today in Fatima the crowd was larger that ten years ago when John Paul II visited (!!!). One should keep in mind that this visit was preceded by the most brutal barrage of media misinformation and attacks against the Pope I have ever seen in my life in this country. Yet, to the total surprise of everybody, the reception of Benedict was absolutely positive, warm, joyful, ecstatic. Try to get more information from people that were in Portugal these days as the secular media worldwide is silencing the amazing reception Benedict XVI had in Portugal. Also: the Pope is in excellent physical shape and enjoying every second of this trip!!

  • Irene Lagan

    L

    et me add something more about the amazing visit of the Pope to Portugal. It has been a HUGE SUCCESS. Enormous crowds follow him and cheer him everywhere.

    There were some 500,000 people at the mass yesterday. In fact, since I work at Vatican Radio, we did speak with people there from all over the world – including faraway places like Australia, the US, Haiti, and so on. The same was true of Malta – the crowds were enormous, and the welcome the Pope received was tremendous. Also, just a note, the Wednesday audiences and Sunday angelus addresses draw at least as many people as the JPII years. I think the statistics average to greater crowds for Benedict, but I am not sure of that.

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