Schedule Set for Papal Visit to Fatima

VATICAN ( -- On April 1, as he prayed the Rosary with unversity students in Rome, Pope John Paul II personally confirmed his plans to make a pilgrimage to Fatima in May. 

The Pope is scheduled to travel to the Portuguese city on May 12 and 13, to preside at the beatification of Francesco and Jacinta Marto, two of the three children who saw the Virgin Mary at Fatima in 1917.

(The third child is still living; Sister Lucia is a Carmelite nun.) On April 3, the Vatican issued the schedule for the Pope's trip. He will arrive in Lisbon on the afternoon of May 12, and meet privately there with the president of Portugal before leaving by helicopter for Fatima. That evening the Pontiff will pray privately in the chapel built on the site of the apparitions. On Saturday, May 13, the Pope will preside at the beatification ceremonies in Fatima. Then he will return to Lisbon for the flight to Rome. There have been reports-- unconfirmed by the Vatican-- that the Pontiff will meet privately with Sister Lucia prior to the beatification ceremony.