At the conclusion of the Audience, Pope Francis had special greetings especially for young people, the sick, and new spouses. He recalled that May 13 is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. “Dear young people, learn and cultivate devotion to the Mother of God, with the daily recitation of the Rosary; dear [brothers and sisters] who are ill, feel the presence of Mary in the hour of the Cross; and you dear newly-married husbands and wives, pray to her that love and mutual respect will never be lacking in your homes.”
The Redemptorists are preparing an important event: the Jubilee of Perpetual Help during the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.
The Superior General, father Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R. said: “I believe that it is providential that our celebration of the Jubilee Year of Our Mother of Perpetual Help coincides with the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis, and which will begin on December 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the principal patroness of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.”
We can say that is always an invitation, strengthen the mission of the Church to evangelize through Marian devotion.
Marian devotion is also popular devotion, with numbers that surprise us:
The Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida is the largest marian sanctuary in the world and every year it is visited by 12 milions of pilgrims. It covers a great area and it is located between two of the most great cities in Brazil: São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The Basilica of Aparecida, where there is the statue, can contain about 30.000 worshipers around the central altar. The outdoor area can contain 300,000 pilgrims during a celebration. Since 1984 it has been managed by the Redemptorist Missionaries and it was visited by three Popes: John Paul II, Benedict and Francis. The most importanta day is October 12nd, when it is celebrated the feast day of Our Lady of Aparecida, the great expression of faith of the Brazilian People.
In Portugal, the Shrine of Fatima is visited by five million of people. The celebrations of May 12 and 13 are those with more pilgrims in the Cova da Iria, with periods that reach 300.000 faithful. In August and October there are also International pilgrims, with thousand devotees.
The Shrine was visited by three Popes: Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI; The Polish Pope visited it during three occasions. There are many feast outside, but today the Basilica of the Holy Trinity contains 9000 seats.