This is the first time that Omella presides over an international anniversary pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Fátima, with the bishop of Leiria-Fátima, José Ornelas, justifying, in statements to Fátima Missionária, the invitation to the Spanish Cardinal, stating that “Fátima is not simply Portugal”.

“It has an international dimension, and it is good that the sanctuary also feels this internationality, not only in the faces of the people who arrive but also in the languages that are heard and in the sensitivity of those who speak” to the faithful, he added, not forgetting that it is from Spain that some of the largest contingents of foreign pilgrims arrive annually.

Although the official pilgrimage ceremonies only take place on the 12th and 13th, on Saturday, the 11th, many thousands of pilgrims are expected in Cova da Iria.