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STATUE OF THE VIRGIN OF FATIMA ARRIVING IN ROME
Pope Will Solemnly Entrust Church to Her

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 5, 2000 (ZENIT.org).- Rome is preparing to receive the statue of the Virgin of Fatima, being brought from Portugal for the Jubilee of Bishops this weekend. 
On Sunday, John Paul II will solemnly entrust the Church and third millennium to the Virgin Mary. 
The statue will be in Rome for three days, returning to Portugal next Monday morning, after receiving the homage of the Holy Father and Jubilee pilgrims. 
The statue will arrive at Ciampino airport and be privately transported to the Vatican. It will be taken first to John Paul II's apartments, where he will pray before Our Lady's image. 
On Saturday morning, the statue will be taken in procession to St. Peter's Basilica, where pilgrims will be able to venerate it. 
In the afternoon, the faithful will pray the rosary with the Holy Father before the image. A procession, beginning at 5:45 p.m., will accompany the statue from the basilica into St. Peter's Square, where the Pope will lead the meditations on the mysteries of the rosary. Cardinals, bishops and five families from different continents will play an active part during the ceremony. 
Sister Lucia and the Carmelite religious of the Convent in Coimbra, Portugal, will pray the fifth mystery. Sister Lucia is the only surviving visionary of the three children to whom Our Lady of Fatima appeared in 1917. 
This will be the first time the Pope presides over the World Rosary, an initiative that began in Mexico in 1996 and spread to 100 countries. 
In Mexico City, the rosary will be presided over by Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Pope's praying of the rosary in Rome will be televised on EWTN.
At the end of the ceremony, the statue will cross St. Peter's Square and be accompanied in procession to the "Mater Ecclesia" convent of cloistered nuns in the Vatican. Nuns who reside in Vatican City will take part in this procession. 
On Sunday, at 10 a.m., the Pope will preside over a concelebrated Mass during which he will read the consecration to Mary before the image of Our Lady of Fatima. All the bishops present will pronounce the act of consecration together with the Pope. The Vatican has not yet published the text of the act of consecration. 
On Monday morning, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, will preside over a farewell ceremony for the Virgin of Fatima in the St. Damasus patio in the Vatican. The statue will leave from Fiumicino airport for the return trip to Portugal.

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