06 may, 2019
The Philippine Cardinal presides at the International Pilgrimage of May
The agenda of the Archbishop of Manila, Luís Antonio Tagle, in Portugal, will mainly focus on Fatima and on social issues
The International Pilgrimage of May, which is also the anniversary date of the canonisation of Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto, will be presided by a Philippine Cardinal, the Archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio Tagle, as a sign of recognition sent to Asia, from which a surprisingly growing number of pilgrims keep coming to Fatima.
During the first four months of the current year, the Shrine already welcomed 60 groups of Asian pilgrims, which announced their visit in the course of the official celebration programme, nine out of which are coming from the Philippines.
In the course of these first quarter of 2019, during which the Shrine invited pilgrims to Give Thanks to Pilgrimage in Church, offering a set of proposals for prayer (catechism) and reflection (symposiums and training events) about the events and the message of Fatima, South Korean pilgrims coming to Cova da Iria still the most important group representing the Asian presence in Fatima.
Between January and April of this year, 30 groups coming from South Korea were announced, representing a total of 730 people out of the 1,934 pilgrims coming from Asia registered by the Shrine. As of today, Sri Lanka stands as the third Asian country in terms of number of groups - eight - and the second in terms of number of pilgrims - 428.
It is to be noted that these data on groups are collected by the Shrine based on the groups that requested support from the Department for the Welcome of Pilgrims in order to organize specific celebrations in the various spaces of the Shrine.
It is also worth underlining, for instance, that these pilgrims are also among those who, together with the Italian ones, visit the permanent exhibition Fatima Light and Peace, open to the public in the Museum of the Shrine of Fatima. And, additionally, pilgrims from the Philippines and Sri Lanka are also those who more visit the exhibition spaces of the Shrine, asking for guided tours.
It is to remember that out of the 456 Asian groups that visited Cova da Iria in 2018, 125 groups were coming from South Korea, 93 from the Philippines, 48 from Indonesia and 36 from Vietnam. Besides, seven other countries sent pilgrims to Fatima: India, China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and Thailand, representing a total of 15 thousand pilgrims belonging to organised groups.
Out of around a hundred of groups already registered for this pilgrimage of May (as of the end of April), around 10% of the pilgrims come from Hong Kong, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and Singapore.
A Cardinal engaged in a social pastoral
Luis Antonio Tagle is the Archbishop of Manila in the Philippines since 2011 and he also is the current president of Caritas Internationalis. He was ordained as a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in November 2012 and received the Cardinal birretta and ring and the title of Cardinal Priest of San Felice da Cantalice a Centocelle.
The Cardinal, a Philippine national, studied philosophy in the San José Seminary in Manila and theology in the Ateneo de Manila University. He was ordained as a Deacon on the 18th of July 1981 in the San José Seminary in Manila. Then on the 27th of February 1982, he was ordained as a priest.
Between 1987 and 1991, he studied theology in the Catholic University of America, Washington DC, where he earned his Doctorate in Sacred Theology.
He was a member of the International Theological Commission from 1997 to 2002.
He was appointed Bishop of Imus on the 22nd of October 2001, and consecrated on the 12th of December by the Cardinal Jaime Lachica Sin, Archbishop of Manila, assisted by Manuel C. Sobreviñas, Bishop Emeritus of Imus, and by Pedro Arigó, Titular Bishop of Mactaris, Vicar Apostolic of Puerto Princesa. Promoted to the Metropolitan See of Manila on the 13th of October, he took his functions on the 12th of December of the same year. On the 29th of June 2012, during the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, he received the pallium from the hands of Pope Benedict XVI in Saint Peter’s Basilica.
The Philippines is the only country of the Asian continent where Catholics are in majority - around 90% of the population - and in 2021 the country will celebrate the 500 years’ anniversary of the arrival of the first Christian evangelizers. Currently, the country has embarked on a nine-year spiritual journey to implement a new evangelization, and each year is dedicated to a different theme. In 2019, the pastoral theme bears on the youths, in accordance with the Universal Church that just ended a Synod on Young People and Faith that resulted in Pope Francis’ post-synodal exhortation entitled Christus Vivit, in which he gave clear clues about the necessary participation of the young people in the Church and the necessity for the Church to listen to the youths. During the last year of this cycle, the Philippines will celebrate the missio ad gentes. For Pope Francis, Asia, and the Philippines in particular, is a region that needs permanent evangelization.
The Cardinal Tagle is the current responsible of Caritas Internationalis, that is why he will, during his journey in Portugal, hold various meetings with Caritas, Diocesan institutions of Caritas and local representatives of the Church on social works projects for the migrants and the homeless.
International Pilgrimage of May celebrates the first Apparition of Our Lady to the Little Shepherds
It is the first Anniversary international pilgrimage of 2019 and its theme is “To Give thanks to Pilgrimage in Church”.
Among the main celebrations of the official programme, the welcoming of the pilgrims will take place on the 11th of May at 6:30 pm, with the celebration of the Eucharist.
The Pilgrimage will officially begin on the 12th with the press conference held by Cardinal António Marto, Cardinal Luís Antonio Tagle and the Rector of the Shrine, Father Carlos Cabecinhas at 6:30 pm, with a Greeting to Our Lady in the Chapel of the Apparitions. Around 9:30 pm, in the same place, will take place a prayer to the international Rosary followed by a Candlelight Procession and a Mass.
On Monday the 13th of May around 9 am, the Chapel of the Apparitions will welcome the international Rosary followed by a mass. During this celebration there will also be a Blessing of the Sick and a Farewell Procession.
The Shrine of Fatima made some changes regarding the welcoming of the Pilgrims on Foot
This year, the Secretary where the pilgrims can register for accommodation will be in the pilgrims’ hostel (Albergue do Peregrino) near Parque 2 (Latitude: 39°38'1.34"N and Longitude: 8°40'24.67”W).
Pilgrims will be received by order of arrival and their inscription will be made through the registration of a representative and the submission of the list of the pilgrims that constitute a group indicating some basic personal data.
These services are provided to the pilgrims for free.
May 9 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm
2:00 pm Meeting of the Pilgrims on foot guides - Retreat House of Our Lady of Sorrows
4:30 pm Mass with the participation of the sick - Chapel of the Apparitions
5:30 pm Eucharistic Procession - Prayer enclosure
6:30 pm Greeting to Our Lady - Chapel of the Apparitions
9:30 pm Rosary followed by the Candlelight procession - Chapel of the Apparitions
10:30 pm Mass - Prayer enclosure
7:00 am Eucharistic Procession - Prayer enclosure
9:00 am Rosary - Chapel of the Apparitions
10:00 am Mass - Prayer enclosure