.- The Press Office of the Holy See announced Thursday that Pope Benedict XVI will make a pastoral trip to Portugal in 2010, in response to the invitation of the Episcopal Conference, including a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima her feast day, May 13.
The President of the Portuguese Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Jorge Ferreira da Costa Ortiga of Braga, said, “We are joyful over the Holy Father's visit to Portugal. The love of the Portuguese Catholics for the Successor of Peter is a key element of our Catholic tradition and our fidelity to the Church."
The Portugese archbishop also said that the trip would provide an opportunity to deepen and express "the desire for communion with the universal pastor," and therefore he encouraged "all the Catholic communities to prepare for this trip by living in profound ecclesial communion."
"Our Lady, whom the Portuguese people love with special tenderness, is a kind Mother who invites us to delve deeper into Jesus Christ and the mystery of the Church," said the Archbishop of Braga.