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Thousands Gather in Fatima Portugal Praying for Peace Amidst Global Conflict

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The Catholic shrine of Fatima, Portugal.

In Fatima Portugal, a place where many Catholics come to pray, tens of thousands gathered on Sunday. They came together to pray for peace while wars continue in places like Ukraine and Gaza. Fatima is known as one of the most important places for Catholics to visit.

Also Read about this music concert where controversy aimed sue to Israel Gaza conflict.

Every year, people from countries all over the world, like India, Canada, Brazil, and Ivory Coast, gather for a special event in Fatima, Portugal. This event is important because it honors the first of three times that the Virgin Mary, also called Our Lady. Which reportedly appeared more than 100 years ago.

It’s a big deal for Catholics, and it brings together a lot of pilgrims who come to pray and seek blessings.

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We don’t want war, said Maria do Carmo, who is 67 years old, as she patiently waited for the candlelight procession to begin. This procession is the most exciting part of the evening. “We’re here to ask Our Lady to stop all the wars,” she added. Maria’s words reflect the hopes of many gathered in Fatima, seeking peace and an end to conflict through prayer.

According to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, in 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared to three children in the village of Fatima, Portugal. At that time, Fatima was a poor farming community.

The Church believes that during these appearances, the Virgin Mary shared three messages with the children. These messages are often referred to as the secrets of Fatima.

In 2017, Pope Francis declared two of the shepherd children from Fatima as saints. This was a significant event for Catholics worldwide. Jim Grimes, a 68-year-old from the United States, visited the Fatima shrine for the first time during this occasion. He used this opportunity to think about the conflicts happening around the world.

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Pilgrims attend the event marking the anniversary of the reported appearance of the Virgin Mary to three shepherd children, at the Catholic shrine of Fatima, Portugal, May 12, 2024.
Pilgrims attend the event marking the anniversary of the reported appearance of the Virgin Mary to three shepherd children, at the Catholic shrine of Fatima, Portugal, May 12, 2024.

It was a moment of reflection for him amidst the spiritual significance of the shrine.

“We need to start talking and being tolerant towards each other,” he emphasized. “That’s how we can make a difference in the world.”

The conflict between Israel and Gaza has led to significant loss of life and suffering. According to health authorities in Gaza, over 35,000 people have been killed due to the war.

Israeli tallies report about 1,200 deaths in Israel and 253 people taken as hostages when Hamas initiated the attack on October 7, which sparked the conflict. The Israeli airstrikes have caused extensive damage to Gaza and have created a severe humanitarian crisis in the region.

Some of the pilgrims at Fatima also brought Ukrainian flags as a gesture of solidarity after Russia’s invasion in February 2022. This invasion resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands and forced millions of people to flee their homes.

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David Garcia, a 42-year-old pilgrim, expressed his thoughts while sitting with his wife and two children. “Nobody wants wars to happen, but unfortunately, they do,” he stated. “We need to come together because the world needs our prayers.” His words echoed the sentiments of many at the shrine, emphasizing the importance of unity and prayer in times of conflict.

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