Fatima pilgrims pray for missing girl

Visiting Fatima for the 90th anniversary of the 1917 apparitions of the Virgin Mary to three Portuguese children, half a million pilgrims prayed for the safe return of British toddler Madeleine McCann who disappeared at a coastal resort early this month.

Speaking to the largest crowd of pilgrims since the last visit by Pope John Paul II in 2000, Italian Cardinal Angelo Sodano also lamented the increasing alienation in Europe of the Catholic Church, EUX TV reports.

"In our countries a decline of faith is spreading, to which we cannot be indifferent," he said on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI who was in Brazil.

Europe was tempted to forget the faith that strengthened the continent for hundreds of years, the cardinal said.

Catholic News recalls that the devotion to Our Lady of Fatima began on May 13, 1917, when Francisco and Jacinta Marto and their cousin Lucia saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary at Cova da Iria. Since then the site has been visited by over a million pilgrims each year.

The first secret foretold the early death of Jacinta and Francisco, and the second referred to the end of the World War I, the outbreak of World War II, the conversion of Russia and the end of Communism.

The third secret of Fatima referred to the attempt on the life of John Paul II in St Peter's Square on May 13, 1981.

Half a million pilgrims in Fatima pray for missing British girl (EUX TV, 13/5/07)
Fatima celebrates 90th anniversary of apparitions (The Indian Catholic, 12/5/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Our Lady of Fatima (Wikipedia)

Sister Lucia's remains to be moved to Fatima (CathNews, 17/1/06)
Imminent canonisation of first two Fatima seers (CathNews, 23/2/05)
Last Fatima witness Sister Lucia dead at 97 (CathNews, 15/2/05)

14 May 2007

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