Pope Francis visits world-renowned Catholic Shrine of Fatima in Portugal

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By Euronews  with agencies

Pope Francis prayed with a crowd of around 200,000 people on Saturday on what was his second visit to Portugal’s Shrine of Fatima since he became leader of the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis visited the world-renowned Catholic shrine of Fatima on Saturday, on the fourth day of his visit to Portugal.

The 86-year-old pontiff skipped giving a key speech that was on the programme of his two-hour visit.

He prayed with the approximately 200,000 people at the site and greeted dozens of them individually as his aides pushed him through the crowd.

The church believes the sanctuary to be the place where the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in 1917.

They said she gave them three messages. The first two were a vision of hell, seen by believers as a prediction of World War Two and a warning about Soviet communism.

At Saturday’s gathering at the shrine, the Portuguese Bishop of Fatima spoke alongside the pontiff, calling for peace in worldwide conflicts that dramatically target children, including the war in Ukraine.

The Pope later returned to the Portuguese capital where on Sunday he will preside over a final Mass as part of the World Youth Day celebrations.

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