14-September-2000 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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FATIMA STATUE TO COME TO VATICAN

Pope Will Consecrate Church and World of the Third Millennium to the Virgin

VATICAN CITY, (ZENIT.org).- The original statue of the Virgin of Fatima will be in Rome for the Bishops' Jubilee, which will be held from October 6-8. This is an initiative that has endearing connotations for John Paul II, who earlier this year revealed the "third secret" that Mary confided to the little Portuguese shepherds, and which alludes to the attempt on the Pope's life.

The statue is scheduled to arrive in Rome on October 6. It will then be transported to the Holy Father's private chapel.

On Saturday morning, October 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the statue will be taken in procession to St. Peter's Basilica, where it will be exposed for veneration by the faithful. In the afternoon, the statue will go to the atrium of St. Peter's, where the Holy Father will join the bishops celebrating their special Jubilee, and pray the rosary, which will be followed by thousands of communities around the world.

On Saturday night, the statue will be taken to the "Ecclesiae Mater" convent of cloistered nuns, in the Vatican.

On Sunday morning, October 8, the Pope will offer Mass in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican, together with the bishops celebrating their Jubilee, and, in the presence of the Virgin of Fatima, he will proclaim the "Act of Entrustment" to Mary, during which he will pray to the Mother of Christ to protect the Church and the world at the beginning of the Third Millennium.

The statue will be taken later to the Holy Father's private chapel. On Monday morning, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, will preside over a farewell ceremony in the patio of St. Damasus. The statue will then travel back to Portugal.

Archbishop Crescenzio Sepe, secretary general of the Vatican Jubilee Committee, said over Vatican Radio that "the arrival of the Virgin of Fatima in the Vatican is directly related to the consecration that the Holy Father wants to make at the end of the Mass for the Bishops' Jubilee."

"For this reason, it was decided that on such an occasion it was important to have a significant presence, like the original statue of the Virgin of Fatima. Hence, we contacted the Bishop of Fatima, who was very pleased," the Archbishop said.

"We hope that the faithful will have the possibility of coming close the statue of the Virgin, to whom the Pope recently gave his ring, and that it will serve to foster the affection for Mary that has characterized this entire Jubilee Year," Archbishop Sepe concluded.

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