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Aparecida awaits Pope Francis

(Vatican Radio) As Pope Francis prepares to travel to Brazil for the upcoming World Youth Day celebrations we bring you this Vatican Radio English translation of an interview done in Portugese with Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, Archbishop of Aparecida

Q: On July 24, the Pope will be in Aparecida.What will happen on this day?

A: I met Pope Francis at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where I stayed this week, and found him very peaceful and happy about his trip to Brazil - Rio de Janeiro for the World Youth Day and in Aparecida for the visit to the National Shrine . The Pope wants to express his love and his devotion to Our Lady, called in Brazil under the title "Our Lady of Aparecida", the patron saint of all our country and our people. The Holy Father will arrive in Aparecida around 10:00 am and Mass will begin at 10:30 am inside the Basilica. The Holy Father also told me that at the end of the celebration, he will look down from the balcony (christened with the name of Pope Benedict XVI) to pray with the faithful outside the Sanctuary who will follow the Mass on giant screens. The Pope does not remain aloof from the people. In addition to this meeting to be held immediately after the Mass, the Pope will travel in the 'Popemobile' to the line that separates the Basilica of the Seminary. The same will happen in the afternoon when Pope Francis will do the reverse path from the seminary to the Basilica to take the helicopter that will bring him back to Rio de Janeiro. Pope Francis will remain throughout the afternoon at the Seminary, where he will have lunch together with his entourage and in the company of seminarians. It will be a private dinner. After there is a moment of rest. The Pope will bless an image of St. Anthony de Santana Galvão (Frei Galvão, the first Brazilian saint, who was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 in São Paulo), born in the city of Guaratinguetá, and is part of the Archdiocese of Aparecida. This image will then be carried in procession, probably in October, during the feast of the saint, in the place where in future there will be a shine built dedicated to him. Again at the seminary, Pope Francis will receive three nuns from cloistered monasteries of our region.

Q: Before Mass, there will be a moment of prayer before the image of Our Lady of Aparecida ...

Before the Mass, the Pope will stop in the Chapel of the Apostles to contemplate the original image of Our Lady of Aparecida. The throne of the image is mobile, so if the Pope wants to, it can be turned, so that the image of the Madonna can be directed towards Chapel for him to say this prayer of consecration to Our Lady in the presence of guests and the priests that will be present. This consecration will, in practice, be the same as we do, although there will be slight variations. After the consecration, this will become the new official prayer that we will do every time at the end of a Mass to consecrate the people of Our Lady of Aparecida. Interview Silvonei Protz