Pilgrims in Fatima offer prayers for peace in Ukraine

Courtney Mares   By Courtney Mares for CNA


Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal on May 13, 2022. / Screenshot from Radio Espérance YouTube channel.

Rome Newsroom, May 13, 2022 / 11:36 am (CNA).

On the 105th anniversary of the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima on Friday, pilgrims prayed for peace in Ukraine.

Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, the Substitute (Sostituto) of the Vatican Secretariat of State, offered Mass at the Marian shrine in Portugal on May 13 in the presence of two cardinals, 28 bishops, 318 priests, and thousands of pilgrims.

During the Mass, pilgrims prayed “for peace in the world, especially for the victims of the conflict in Ukraine, so that the Lord will open the hearts of political decision-makers and lead them to the discernment that only in peace is it possible for us all to be brothers.”

It was the first large gathering for the May 13 anniversary since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as since Pope Francis consecrated Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Portuguese media estimated that around 200,000 people attended the candlelight prayer vigil at Fatima on the evening of May 12.

Two Ukrainian refugee children helped to lead a decade of the rosary during the Fatima vigil.

“Tonight we walk under the loving gaze of the Blessed Virgin Mary to find peace and new light in our hearts,” Peña Parra said on May 12, according to Portugal Posts.

He added: “Especially in the intimacy of this night, Our Lady of Fatima, in addition to constant prayer to ask for the gift of peace in Ukraine and throughout the world (…), we beg you to take each one of us under your mantle and guard our lives.”

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