File Photo: Pope Francis leads the blessing of the candles ceremony at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on 12 May 2017 File Photo: Pope Francis leads the blessing of the candles ceremony at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on 12 May 2017 

Vatican publishes Pope's liturgical celebrations for July-August

The Holy See Press Office releases the official calendar of Pope Francis' Liturgical Celebrations for July and August 2023, which includes Mass on the 3rd World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly and his upcoming Apostolic Journeys to Portugal and Mongolia.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

The Holy See Press Office has released the Calendar of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations for the months of July and August.

July is traditionally the Pope's rest month, where he suspends most of his activities.

According to the calendar published on Tuesday, the only official liturgical celebration to take place in the Vatican is the Mass for the third World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly on Sunday, 23 July. On that occasion, the Holy Father is scheduled to preside over Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at 10 a.m.

The Church observes the World Day each year on the fourth Sunday in July, close to the feast of Jesus' grandparents, Saints Joachim and Anne.

Pope Francis instituted this Day in 2021 to recall grandparents, who he says are often forgotten, though they "are the link between generations, passing on the experience of life and faith to the young."

The Pope chose as this year's theme “His mercy is from age to age” (Lk 1:50), which expresses the link with World Youth Day, 1-6 August 2023, due to take place shortly thereafter in Lisbon, Portugal.

The following liturgical celebrations will take place in the context of the Holy Father's upcoming Apostolic Journeys.

Mass in Portugal for young people

On the first week of August, the Holy Father will preside over liturgical celebrations during his Apostolic Journey to Portugal, 2-6 August, for the occasion of World Youth Day. 

The visit will see him visit the nation's capital of Lisbon and make a stop to Fatima.

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.

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 37th 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).

Mission in Mongolia

The liturgical calendar also highlights that Pope Francis will preside over liturgical celebrations at the end of the month, during his Apostolic Visit to Mongolia, 31 August - 4 September.

There are fewer than 1,500 Catholics in all of Mongolia, and Pope Francis will be the first Pope to ever visit the East Asian country. The Holy See Press Office will release the programme for the Apostolic Journey and further details in the coming weeks.

In the most recent consistory for the creation of new cardinals, in August 2022, Pope Francis made Cardinal Giorgio Marengo, the Apostolic Prefect of Mongolia's capital of Ulaanbaatar, the first-ever Cardinal of the country.


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04 July 2023, 12:04