An estimated 200,000 people welcomed the pope to Fatima, according to local authorities. Nearly 40 Portuguese bishops joined the pope in praying the rosary with the crowd standing outside of the shrine.
Pope Francis waved to pilgrims from the popemobile amid cheers of “Papa Francisco” and kissed babies who were passed up to him from the crowd.
At the end of the Fatima event, Pope Francis opted not to recite a long written prayer entrusting the Church and “countries at war” to the Blessed Virgin Mary, but instead asked the crowd to pray together a “Hail Mary.”
“We pray for peace, O Queen of peace! Convert the souls of those who nourish hatred and foment conflicts, of those who believe that war solves problems. Touch the hearts of those who are far off, of those who do not have the joy of knowing God,” the prayer said.
“With child-like hearts, we consecrate to you our lives, every fiber of our being, all that we have and are, forever. To you, we consecrate the Church and the world, especially those countries at war. Obtain peace for us. You, Virgin of the way, open paths where it seems that none exist.”
Last year, Pope Francis consecrated Russia and Ukraine to the Blessed Virgin Mary in St. Peter’s Basilica with a prayer asking for peace in the world, one month after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, asking all of the bishops of the world to join him.
The pope spent two hours in Fatima on the morning of Aug. 5 before returning to Lisbon via helicopter to meet privately with Portuguese members of the Jesuit order and to preside over the World Youth Day prayer vigil.
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On Sunday, the pope will preside over a large outdoor Mass in Lisbon’s Tejo Park before returning to Rome on the papal plane in the evening.
“Mary, in her life does nothing but point to Jesus: Do what He tells you. Follow Jesus. These are the two gestures of Mary. Let’s reflect on this: she welcomes us all and points to Jesus,” Pope Francis said in Fatima.