by Jay Soldner
Special to The Leaven
On Aug. 5, Pope Francis visited Fátima to pray the rosary with World Youth Day pilgrims and others who came to the site from around the world.
Approximately 200,000 people filled the square and the surrounding perimeter of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima. The large crowd was treated to a flyover by the papal helicopter as Pope Francis waved from above.
After circling the Basilica Square twice, the helicopter landed in an adjacent field, and shortly afterward, the motorcade of Vatican security vehicles led the way for the popemobile.
After arriving, the pope was greeted enthusiastically by the massive crowd.
Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho of Fátima spoke alongside the Holy Father, calling for peace in worldwide conflicts — especially those that target children — and specifically mentioned the war in Ukraine.
Speaking to the crowd from inside the Chapel of the Apparitions, the pope reiterated his message from the night before when he spoke at Parque Eduardo VII in Lisbon — that the Catholic Church is for everyone: “Por todos, por todos, por todos.”
Each decade of the rosary was recited by a sick young person in their own language as the crowd responded in dozens of languages.
After the prayer gathering, the pope again made his way slowly through the people gathered in the square as he shook hands and spoke with several on the way out.
Following the rosary, Pope Francis went back to Lisbon for the final events of World Youth Day: a Saturday night prayer vigil and a Sunday morning Mass at Parque Tejo with a crowd of 1.5 million pilgrims.
To view the full album of photos from World Youth Day, click here.