Pope Francis in Lisbon from 2 to 6 August
According to a statement released by the Holy See, Pope Francis will be in Portugal from August 2 to 6 on the occasion of World Youth Day (WYD) Lisbon 2023, in what will be the longest visit of a Pope to Portugal.
Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office, said that Pope Francis will be in Portugal from August 2 to 6, and that on August 5 he will visit the Shrine of Fatima. This visit will take place at the express wish of the Holy Father.
This is Pope Francis' second trip to Portugal, after having presided over the ceremonies of the Centennial of the Apparitions at the Shrine of Fatima in 2017. That visit was marked by the official canonization of the two little shepherd children, Jacinta and Francisco Marto.
D. Manuel Clemente, Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, stated that the formalization of these dates is the "confirmation of the expressed wish that the successor of Peter wants to meet, once again, with the youth of the whole world. That he wants to listen to them, see them and pray with them. With everyone," he affirmed.
The Cardinal-Patriarch of Lisbon emphasized that "the dream of holding a World Youth Day in Portugal is about to be fulfilled," expressing "my joy at being able to participate in this World Youth Day and I express my gratitude to all the authorities of our country that accompany us and help make this Day possible.
To Pope Francis, to my brothers in the Episcopate, to the priests and to all the volunteers, I assure my prayer and I ask Mary, our Mother, to help us to go through the weeks that separate us from the first days of August hurriedly, but not anxiously
Also the Portuguese Bishops' Conference (CEP) mentioned that "it is with great joy that the Portuguese Bishops' Conference welcomes the information, transmitted today by the Holy See, about Pope Francis' trip to Portugal to participate in World Youth Day in Lisbon.
We wish that Pope Francis' presence among us, and which includes a significant pilgrimage to the Shrine of Fatima, will be a strong moment of renewal and grace for the Church in Portugal, especially for young people, called by the Living Christ to be authentic evangelizers in a synodal Church and always in mission.
The WYD Lisbon 2023 Foundation received the news of the officialization, by the Holy See, of Pope Francis' visit to Portugal with "great joy.
Also the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, highlighted the importance of the visit of the Holy Father to Portugal, considering this a "unique and indelible moment in our collective life," and the "uniqueness of holding World Youth Day in our country.
Carlos Moedas, Mayor of Lisbon, said that the confirmation of these dates when the Holy Father will be in Portugal "is a very important sign for the city and for all the people who are waiting for this moment". "We are already counting down the days and Lisbon already has its heart and arms open to receive Pope Francis," he stressed.
D. José Ornelas, Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, revealed that the Holy Father "as he told me personally, comes to pray to Our Lady of Fatima" and that it is already a tradition that "in a World Youth Day (WYD), the Holy Father goes to pray in a shrine dedicated to Our Lady, which is particularly symbolic for the place where WYD takes place".
The Bishop of Leiria-Fatima also stressed that "it is with great joy" that Fatima once again receives Pope Francis, after his visit in 2017.