Lisbon, Portugal, May 14, 2013 / 11:01 am
At the Holy Father's personal request, Cardinal Jose Polycarp, the Patriarch of Lisbon, consecrated the pontificate of Pope Francis to Our Lady of Fatima on her feast day.
Addressing Our Lady of Fatima during the ceremony, Cardinal Polycarp said, "Grant (Pope Francis) the gift of discernment to know how to identify the paths of renewal for the Church, grant him the courage to not falter in following the paths suggested by the Holy Spirit, protect him in the difficult hours of suffering, so that he may overcome, in charity, the trials that the renewal of the Church will bring him."
In statements to CNA, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said, "As we know, an important celebration takes place on May 13 in Fatima during which it is normal that the pontificate be entrusted to Our Lady of Fatima."
The consecration took place at the Portuguese shrine dedicated to Our Lady, with thousands of the faithful present.