Valentina di Giorgio
Although Pope Francis mentioned unofficially his attendance at the forthcoming World Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon, the days had not been specified or the official confirmation of the visit.
The Holy See Press Office confirmed his visit officially on Monday, May 22. “On the occasion of the forthcoming World Youth Day and, accepting the invitation of Portugal’s Civil and Ecclesiastical Authorities, His Holiness Pope Francis will be in Lisbon from August 2-6 this year, and will visit the Fatima Shrine on August 5.”
The news confirmed the Holy Father’s visit to Fatima, where the Virgin Mary appeared to three little shepherds, two of whom have been declared Saints and the third, Sister Lucia, whose Cause of Beatification is underway.
Pope Francis first visited the Fatima Shrine in 2017. It could be that, in the context of the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Pontiff might want to make a further gesture there, to that he made when consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Virgin Mary in March 2022. At that time, the consecration to Mary of both nations was made simultaneously, by Pope Francis from the Vatican and by his Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, in Fatima.