VATICAN CITY (CNS): When bishops from around the world gather for their Jubilee celebration this weekend, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima will also make a pilgrimage to Rome.
Pope John Paul II and the world’s bishops will gather around the statue for the recitation of the rosary and, in the presence of the statue, they will once again entrust the world to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Once before, in March 1984, the Pope had the statue brought from Portugal to St Peter’s Square where, in union with the bishops of the world, he consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The act of consecration was one of the requests the three shepherd children of Fatima said Mary made during her apparitions to them in 1917.
Carmelite Sister Lucia dos Santos, the only surviving Fatima visionary and a cousin of the other two, has said that the 1984 ceremony fulfilled the request.
Embedded in the statue’s crown is one of the bullet fragments removed from Pope John Paul’s body after he was shot on May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, in 1981.