Pope Benedict XVI prays in front of the Madonna statue in Fatima, on May 12, 2010. Pope Benedict XVI arrived today at Fatima, one of Christianity's most popular shrines, cheered by tens of thousands of flag-waving pilgrims. Benedict, the third pope to visit Fatima, toured the shrine's vast esplanade, which turned into a sea of colour as the huge crowd waved yellow and white Vatican flags and hats, as well as the red and green of Portugal. (Daylife-Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI greets supporters as he arrives at Praca do Comercio before an open-air mass in Lisbon on May 11, 2010, which the organisers said could draw as many as 160,000 people. (Daylife Photos)
Video below Monsignor Sotto Voce:
Pancratius was the descendant of a noble Phrygian family. As a youth of fourteen, he came to Rome while Diocletian and Maximian were in power (about 304). He was baptized by the Pope and given instructions in the Christian religion. Arrested for his action, he steadfastly refused to sacrifice to the pagan gods and was condemned to death. With manly courage, he bared his neck for the sword and received the martyr's crown. During the night his body was removed by the pious matron Octavilla, anointed with sweet smelling balsam and interred on the Via Aurelia.
Pancratius is the patron saint of fidelity to oaths. The basilica that Pope Symmachus erected over his remains about the year 500 later became a station church (since 1798 his relics have been lost). On the first Sunday after Easter the saint exhorted the catechumens gathered at his station church to remain loyal to their baptismal vows. The saint warns us to proceed slowly and prudently before taking an oath or vow. But once our word is given we must remain true to our pledge, true unto death itself, whether it concerns baptismal vows, ordination vows, profession vows, or marriage vows.
Symbols: Sword and stone; armour; Saracen crown under his feet.
Patron: Against false witness; against perjury; children; cramps; headaches; fidelity to oaths; treaties.
Prior to Mass in Lisbon on Tuesday, the current champions of the Portugal's soccer league gave Pope Benedict the team's jersey with the name “Bento” and the number 16 printed on the back
The prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, rejected claims this week that the Church is hiding a supposed “fourth secret” of Fatima and recalled that the third secret was revealed on May 13, 2000
"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," said the Holy Father in Fatima on Wednesday evening. In prayer before Mary in the Chapel of Apparitions at the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, the Pope entrusted all people to Our Lady and gave thanks for all prayers for him
The pope then knelt in the Chapel of the Apparitions, built on the site where three shepherd children witnessed a series of apparitions beginning May 13, 1917
“To all of you who have given your life to Christ I wish to express this evening the Church’s appreciation and recognition. Thank you for your witness, often silent and certainly not easy; thank you for your fidelity to the Gospel and to the Church."
Here is a Vatican translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today at the Belem Cultural Center in Lisbon at a meeting with representatives of the world of culture
Having bid farewell to those at the Apostolic Nunciature in Lisbon on Wednesday afternoon, Pope Benedict boarded a helicopter for Fatima, almost 90 miles to the north
Pope at the Belém Cultural Center: 'Be Navigators of Goodness, Truth and Beauty'
Here is a Vatican translation of the homily Benedict XVI gave today at the celebration of vespers with the religious, seminarians and diocesan priests at the Church of the Blessed Trinity in Fatima
Benedict XVI today told priests and consecrated men and women that especially for them, the greatest concern must be fidelity, as "faithfulness over time is the name of love."
As many as 40-thousand pilgrims gathered at the Esplanade of the Shrine of Fatima to pray the rosary with Pope Benedict XVI. A sea of candles pierced the dark Fatima sky as the Holy Father led in the recitation of the glorious mysteries. He was providing an excellent witness of prayer; an act that he has stressed the importance of in the first two days of his visit
Here is a Vatican translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today before leading the faithful in the recitation of the rosary at the Chapel of Apparitions, Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima
We must not be afraid to share our faith, said Pope Benedict XVI from the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on Wednesday evening. The "highest priority" today is to make God present in the world lest his light be "snuffed out forever
In 1848, Blessed Pius IX was forced to flee the Vatican under violent attack from socialist forces. While in exile and after consultation with some Marian prelates, the battered Pontiff concluded that the ultimate remedy for the papacy and the Church in crisis would be to solemnly define the Immaculate Conception, and by so doing, to bring Our Lady's powerful intercession into the situation of ecclesiastical upheaval. Bl. Pius IX did define Our Lady's dogma, and the papacy and the Church was soon restored to its previous respect and significantly beyond