Managua, Aug 7 Nicaraguan Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes inaugurated this Sunday the National Marian Congress, with which the visit of the pilgrim image of the Virgin of Fatima will be closed on the 13th in Nicaragua.
Brenes, also archbishop of the Archdiocese of Managua, Masaya and Carazo, said during a Eucharist celebrated in the Metropolitan Cathedral that the National Marian Congress, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was also inaugurated in all the dioceses of Nicaragua by their bishops or delegates.
“From today we begin a whole Marian week, with which we begin this week of the Marian Congress, which we are going to conclude next Saturday,” said the high hierarch.
Brenes explained that the Marian week will be “under the warmth of our mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, practically in her last week among us (in Nicaragua), because possibly next week she will return to her sanctuary in Portugal, which she left 30 months ago. “.
A replica of the image of the Virgin of Fatima, brought from her Sanctuary in Portugal, arrived in Nicaragua in January 2020 as part of an intense day of prayer for peace and unity in this Central American country.
The Portuguese replica of the Virgin of Fatima, which would make a pilgrimage through Nicaragua for 18 months to commemorate the Marian Jubilee Year, from January 25 to July 25, 2021, has remained in the country, however, for 30 months.
PRAY THE HOLY ROSARY
Cardinal Brenes said that the venerated and “beautiful image has been walking among us” for the last two and a half years, and she will be dismissed in the framework of the Marian Congress.
Within the framework of the Marian week, the hierarch said that they will carry out different activities, days of fasting and prayer, and every day, until next Sunday, they will pray the Holy Rosary, “which is what she gave to the Church as a powerful weapon to move on.”
On Saturday they will celebrate a solemn activity that includes a procession from the Cristo Rey school to the atrium of the Managua Cathedral, where they will perform a Eucharist.
Likewise, Brenes announced that they had “nine images made, almost a faithful copy of the original image, and those images will come out of the Cathedral Church (in Managua) for each diocese of Nicaragua,” which he will bless.
The Marian Congress will conclude in the rest of the dioceses next Sunday.
During his homily, Brenes called on Catholics to increase their faith and “defeat the fears that paralyze us.”
THIRD VISIT TO NICARAGUA
It is the third time that a Portuguese image of the Virgin of Fatima visits Nicaragua in 74 years, and the second on a direct trip from its place of origin in Portugal.
The first time that a replica of the Virgin of Fátima arrived from Portugal to Nicaragua was in 1948, in a similar visit, in which she made a pilgrimage throughout the country, and which lasted until 1949.
More recently, in 2017, the replica of the Virgin remained in Nicaragua for several days, as part of an international tour for the centenary of her apparitions in Fátima, a town located in central Portugal.
As in 1948 and 1949, the image will visit all the dioceses of Nicaragua to celebrate the Marian Jubilee Year, according to the Catholic Church.
On this occasion, during 2020, the replica of the Virgin of Fátima began its journey in Managua, departed for the northern dioceses, returned to the Pacific, went to the central zone and returned once again to the Pacific.
In 2021 the image was present in the autonomous regions of the Caribbean, then it remained in Managua before returning to Portugal.
The replica of the Virgin of Fatima arrived in Nicaragua in the midst of a sociopolitical crisis that broke out in April 2018.
The Catholic community represents 58.5% of the 6.5 million inhabitants of Nicaragua, according to the latest national census. EFE