VATICAN CITY — October is traditionally the month of the rosary and thousands of members of groups promoting Marian piety will be coming to the Vatican this weekend for an evening of Marian prayer with the pope on Saturday and a special Mass on Sunday.
By Pope Francis’ request, the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be brought to the Vatican for the celebrations. It will be only the 11th time since the statue was made in 1920 that it has been removed from the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal.
To help people prepare and follow events live online, here’s a brief schedule below and the official liturgical booklet for Saturday’s event and the official booklet for Sunday Mass.
Saturday October 12
5 p.m. (Rome time; 11 a.m. EDT) Live streaming online here.
Pope Francis and pilgrims will welcome the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to St. Peter’s Square. There will be a Via Matris, or Way of the Mother, and a catechesis by the pope.
Afterward, the statue will be taken to the Rome Shrine of Divine Love, where the Diocese of Rome plans an all-night vigil and recitation of the rosary.
Sunday October 13
10:30 a.m. (Rome time; 4:30 a.m. EDT) Live streaming here.
The statue will return to St. Peter’s Square for the recitation of the rosary and Mass with Pope Francis. The pope will consecrate the world to Mary during the event.
Oct. 13 is the date marking the first working session of the Second Vatican Council, which had been officially opened two days prior in 1962.
It is also the date of the sixth and final apparition of Mary to the three children in Fatima in 1917. The statue’s gold crown holds one of the bullets Blessed John Paul II had been shot with on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13, 1981.
Pope Pius XII and Blessed John Paul II had consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and most recently, Pope Francis asked that his ministry be consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima.