Vatican City, May 11, 2017 / 02:56 am
Wednesday evening, just two days ahead of his trip to Fatima, Pope Francis sent a video message to the people of Portugal asking them to be with him during his pilgrimage, whether physically or spiritually, as he presents flowers to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“I need to feel your closeness, whether physical or spiritual; the important thing is that it come from the heart. In this way, I can arrange my bouquet of flowers, my ‘golden rose,’” he said in the May 10 video message.
“I want to meet everyone at the feet of the Virgin Mother.”
In the message, Pope Francis said he had received many messages asking him to come to people’s homes, communities and towns during his visit, but that he was not able to accept, as much as he would like to.
He also thanked the various Portuguese authorities for being understanding about his decision to restrict his trip to only the usual events associated with a pilgrimage to Fatima, such as praying the rosary at the prayer vigil and visiting the Chapel of the Apparitions.
“Only a few days remain before our pilgrimage, mine and yours, to the feet of Our Lady of Fatima,” he said. “These are days of joy in expectation of our encounter in the home of Mary our Mother.”
“It is as the universal pastor of the Church that I would like to come before the Madonna and to offer her a bouquet of the most beautiful ‘blossoms’ that Jesus has entrusted to my care (cf. Jn 21:15-17),” he continued.
And this means everyone around the world, “none excluded,” he explained. “That is why I need to have all of you join me there.”