By Vatican News
May the “small and humble” Virgin of Aparecida" continue to accompany the people of Brazil.
This prayer was at the heart of a video-message in which Pope Francis celebrated the feast day of Our Lady of Aparecida, the patron saint of Brazil.
The Pope said that he hopes that the "Mother of every Brazilian" - as he called her when he visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida in 2013 - will accompany her children on their journey to “peace, joy and justice”.
He prayed that she may also be at their side in their times of suffering, as they face so many political, social and ecological “limitations”, in a perspective of growth and freedom.
The 2013 Apostolic Visit
During his first Apostolic Journey abroad, for the XXVIII World Youth Day, Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass in the Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida.
On that occasion he pronounced an Act of Consecration in which he asked the Virgin “to spread infinite favours over all Brazil”.