Pope Francis in Fatima, Portugal in 2017 Pope Francis in Fatima, Portugal in 2017 

Pope to travel to Lisbon and Fatima for World Youth Day in August

Accepting the invitation of the civil and ecclesiastical authorities of Portugal, Pope Francis will travel to Lisbon and Fatima in August to take part in World Youth Day 2023.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Pope Francis will return to the Sanctuary of Fatima during the Apostolic Journey he will make to Portugal this summer on the occasion of the upcoming World Youth Day.

Matteo Bruni, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, made the official announcement in a statement Monday.

"On the occasion of the next World Youth Day, and accepting the invitation of the civil and ecclesial authorities of Portugal, His Holiness Pope Francis will travel to Lisbon from 2-6 August of this year, making a visit to the Shrine of Fatima on 5 August."

For the second time as Pope, the Holy Father will visit the Marian pilgrimage site, the destination of millions of pilgrims every year.

The Pope visited the Shrine, on 12-13 May 2017, for the centenary of the Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Cova da Iria. On that occasion, the Pope prayed for an end to the wars "lacerating" the world.

In Fatima, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three Portuguese children slightly more than 100 years ago, in what was then a poor farming village.

Pope Francis in Fatima in 2017
Pope Francis in Fatima in 2017

Lisbon hosts the fourth World Youth Day over which Pope Francis will preside, having done so for the WYDs in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2013; Krakow, Poland, in 2016; and Panama City, Panama, in 2019.

The 38th World Youth Day was originally scheduled to take place in the Portuguese capital in 2022, but was postponed due to the health emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

For this year's WYD's motto, Pope Francis has chosen "Mary arose and went with haste" (Lk 1:39), the bible quote opening the account of the Visitation, when Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth following the angel’s announcement to the Blessed Mother that she would be the mother of the Son of God.

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22 May 2023, 12:00