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Fatima prophecy still relevant today, Pope says

Catholic World News - May 13, 2010

An estimated 500,000 people attended a Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI at the Fatima shrine on May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.

"I too have come as a pilgrim to Fatima," the Pope said in his homily. He referred to Fatima as the place "from which Mary chose to speak to us in modern times."

"We would be mistaken to think that Fatima's prophetic mission is complete," the Holy Father told the congregation. He reminded them that on the eve of World War I-- "when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals"-- the Virgin Mary appeared to three simple shepherd children with an urgent message calling for conversion and repentance. That message is equally urgent today, the Pope said.

Referring to the Virgin's promise that ultimately "my Immaculate Heart will triumph," the Pope concluded his homily with a prayer that the 7 years leading up to the centenary of Mary's apparitions at Fatima will "hasten the fulfillment of the prophecy."

After the Mass the Pope blessed a group of sick people who were in attendance, and reminded them that their suffering could be united to the suffering of the crucified Christ. "In your suffering," he advised them, "you will discover an interior peace and even spiritual joy."

The Pope then prayed at the tombs of Fatima seers before leaving the shrine to have lunch with the Portuguese bishops.

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