Thousands of faithful culminated today the October international pilgrimage to the Portuguese shrine of Fatima, the last of the year, which concluded with a mass officiated by the Bishop of Hiroshima.
The celebrations in the Sanctuary of Fatima, located about 130 kilometers from Lisbon, began on Thursday with the procession of candles and ended today with the mass, the blessing of the sick and the procession of goodbye.
During the mass, the Bishop of Hiroshima, Alexis Mitsuru Shirahama, recalled the disasters of his city and Nagasaki, in Japan, as an example of the "incredible destruction" of which the human being is capable and pointed out that the "greatest enemy" of peace is the arrogance of man.
This year 96 groups of pilgrims from 25 countries registered and a cardinal, thirteen bishops and more than two and a half hundred priests participated, according to the sanctuary.
The cult of Fatima has its origin between May 13 and October 13, 1917, a period during which three Portuguese children – Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco – claimed that they had witnessed several apparitions of the Virgin.
The three minors, who were shepherds of a flock, explained that the Virgin made several revelations in those meetings, which make up the prophecy of Fatima.
The stories of the apparitions made Fatima a place of pilgrimage for believers, who visit this small Portuguese enclave every year.
In 2017, the sanctuary commemorated the centenary of the apparitions with the presence of Pope Francis, who canonized the brothers Jacinta and Francisco Marto, the first children not considered martyrs to be declared saints.