Pope seemed like one of the family, says Fatima shrine priest
Rector of Fatima Shrine Fr. Virgílio do Nascimento Antunes.
Rector of Fatima Shrine Fr. Virgílio do Nascimento Antunes.

.- Yesterday the rector of the Shrine of Fatima shared his personal impressions and those of the people of Portugal with Vatican Radio following the Pope’s Apostolic Visit. Contrary to the thought that the Pope might not be able to touch the hearts of the faithful, said the priest, he was “so human that he seemed like someone from our family.”

Fr. Virgílio do Nascimento Antunes spoke with Vatican Radio in an interview released on Sunday. The priest is the rector of Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, the destination of Pope Benedict XVI’s pilgrimage last week during his visit to Portugal.

Reflecting on the warm reception of the Portuguese people to the Holy Father’s presence, Fr. Antunes said, “I can say that it surpassed many of my expectations because there was also a very big crowd in Fatima.”

Estimates put the number of pilgrims at the Shrine for Thursday's Mass at half a million.

Before his visit, “The Pope was seen in Portugal as the theologian, the philosopher that wasn’t able to touch hearts… It was completely the contrary!” exclaimed the Fatima shrine rector.

“The Pope touched the heart of the people,” explained Fr. Antunes, commenting specifically on his manner with children, young people, the elderly and the sick.

“He is a man so human that he seemed like someone from our family and that we had already known him for a long time and for this reason the way of receiving and recognizing his personality has changed a lot,” the priest remarked about the effects of Pope Benedict's brief stay in the nation.

An equally large turnout and show of appreciation welcomed the Pope on Sunday in St. Peter’s Square for the recitation of the Regina Coeli prayer at midday. Final attendance estimates came in at around 200,000 people for the event which often draws just a quarter of that number.

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian bishops, was also present in the crowd that had been called together to show the solidarity of the Italian people with Pope Benedict.

During the homily of the Mass he celebrated afterwards in St. Paul Outside-the-walls, Cardinal Bagnasco called Christians to stand up and join the Holy Father as witnesses to the faith.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: