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At Fatima, Pope Benedict entrusts all priests to the Virgin Mary

Catholic World News - May 12, 2010

Arriving at Fatima on Wednesday, May 12, Pope Benedict XVI consecrated all of the world's priests to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Addressing himself to the Virgin, and speaking on behalf of all the world's 400,000 priests, the Holy Father said: "Help us, through your powerful intercession, never to fall short of this sublime vocation, nor to give way to our selfishness, to the allurements of the world and to the wiles of the Evil One."

At a Vespers service for priests at the Fatima shrine, the Pope offered encouragement and suggestions, saying that priests should support each other "with prayer, helpful advice, and discernment." He held up the example of St. Jean Marie Vianney-- as he has done often during this Year for Priests-- and recommended common prayer and study "and sharing in the demands of priestly life and work." The Pope was welcomed by a large and enthusiastic crowd as he arrived in Fatima by "popemobile." The Pope quickly made his way to the Chapel of Apparitions, where he knelt in prayer before the familiar statue of the Virgin. Recalling his predecessor Pope John Paul II, who had a special devotion to Our Lady of Fatima and credited her with saving his life from an assassin's bullet, the Pope said: "It is a profound consolation to know that you are crowned not only with the silver and gold of our joys and hopes, but also with the 'bullet' of our anxieties and sufferings." (The bullet that nearly killed John Paul II has been placed in the crown atop the Fatima statue.)

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