may 13, 2021
The Pilgrim Image No. 2 of Fatima will travel to the Caucasus, in September and October, at the request of the Apostolic Nuncio in Armenia and Georgia, Archbishop José Bettencourt, who has already expressed “his joy” for this unprecedented trip.
This will be the first time that the Image visits these territories of the former Soviet Union, passing also, according to the Pope's diplomatic representative, through Azerbaijan.
“The Catholics of the Caucasus rejoice at the news of the visit of the Image of Our Lady of Fatima to the region,” said the Archbishop, who was born in the Azores, in a message sent to the Shrine in Fatima.
The Image, which will pass through parishes and Catholic communities of the three countries, has a specific intention “of reconciliation and peace”, in a region where several conflicts remain “frozen”, while some were reactivated during last year, all of them threatening the stability and security of the entire zone.
For José Milhazes, journalist and author of the book “The Message of Fatima in the Soviet Union-Russia”, the presence of Fatima in the Caucasus “is particularly important in a region of the European Continent battered, for many years, by wars and serious political crises, because the message emanating from Cova da Iria is a message of peace among men,” he told the Shrine.
“Certainly the image of the Virgin Mary will be received with open hearts and arms in Armenia, the first country to proclaim Christianity as its religion in the distant year 301. Since 1989, Armenia has been involved in a war with neighbouring Azerbaijan, and these two countries need peace, they need a reconciliation which is taking time to emerge,” explains the journalist, who was a correspondent for SIC in Russia.
Living in Portugal, the journalist also underlines the “long and deep internal crisis” that afflicts Georgia.
“The presence of Fatima in Georgia will contribute to make hearts more peaceful, more open to dialogue and will certainly remind people of the contribution of the Portuguese missionaries to the rescue of the remains of the Georgian martyr Saint Ketevan, whose ordeal is represented in the tiles on the walls of the Convento da Graça, in Lisbon,” he said.
Also the journalist Aura Miguel, one of the winners of the Journalism Award instituted on the Centenary of the Apparitions, with a multimedia report entitled “Fatima in Belarus, a flame that the USSR did not extinguish”, produced in partnership with Joana Bourgard, recalls that the presence of the Pilgrim Image of Our Lady of Fatima in the Caucasus region can help to “consolidate peace and unity” among Christians and to “strengthen the dialogue with Islam” in this strategic area between Europe and Asia.
The presence of the Pilgrim Image of Fatima will be a “privileged occasion to reinforce this longing for peace and dialogue, without any distinction of ethnic, linguistic, political or religious nature,” she concluded.