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Our Lady of Fatima procession invites faithful to share the flame  

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Giovanni Portelli Photography © 2023

More than a century after Our Lady asked three Portuguese shepherd children to “pray the rosary every day in honour of Our Lady of the rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world,” thousands of Sydney’s faithful are expected to gather at St Mary’s Cathedral to live out her message. 

The Archdiocese of Sydney is inviting all Catholics to a procession in honour of Our Lady of Fatima on 11 May to bear witness to the beauty and richness of their devotion in song and prayer. 

The Vigil Mass begins at 6pm and will be followed by the candlelight procession around the cathedral forecourt from 7pm.

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Last year’s procession, held in the lead up to World Youth Day Lisbon, saw people from different parishes, schools, backgrounds, ages and stages in their faith journey walk side by side in the powerful communal prayer event led by Bishop Richard Umbers. 

The bishop lead the religious and clergy of the archdiocese in the recitation of the holy rosary and a candlelight public procession around the cathedral forecourt. 

“The Fatima procession last year was beautiful,” Bishop Umbers said.  

Giovanni Portelli Photography © 2023

“Held at night, lit by candles with hundreds of young people saying the rosary, it was very moving. Here are people like you and I who say God matters. God is present. God is still with us.” 

The Marian procession is markedly different from Sydney’s Walk with Christ procession scheduled for 2 June, being held at night, lit by candles and attracting a strong contingent of younger Catholics.  

Tricia Cuizon was one of the young faithful who publicly professed their faith with the thousands in attendance who honoured the Blessed Mother last year. 

“It was a beautiful sight to witness each person share their flame with one another in imitation of the fire that the Holy Spirit ignites in our hearts, which guides us to love our Blessed Mother deeper,” said Miss Cuizon. 

“It was that particular moment, as the statue of Our Lady gazed down upon the faithful who were reciting the intercessory prayers with lit candles held high, that gave me great consolation that Our Mother is truly with us, fully present before us and that all our intentions were heard.” 

Giovanni Portelli Photography © 2023

Sydney Catholic Youth team leader Milad Khalil lead last year’s World Youth Day pilgrims in the procession. 

He also felt the presence of Our Blessed Mother that night, saying that it was “as though she is holding us by the hand, moving us closer toward her beloved son.” 

“We have an opportunity as young Catholics to bear witness to the faith in public, a way to express with conviction the faith that is ever growing in our hearts and minds,” he said. 


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