Portuguese print 400,000 pope farewell pictures
Portuguese worshippers have printed 400,000 pictures of Pope Benedict XVI for the faithful to display in their windows to honour him as he resigns on Thursday, church authorities said.
Posters bearing the message “Thank you, Benedict XVI,” were distributed in several towns including Lisbon and Fatima, home to a cult of the Virgin Mary that Benedict visited in 2010.
Some showed him waving on a yellow background while others pictured him praying before a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, who is believed to have made a miraculous appearance to children there in 1917.
Portuguese news agency LUSA quoted one of the organisers of the poster campaign as saying that the Patriarch of Lisbon, Jose Policarpo, had approved the pictures.
In spite of paedophilia scandals rocking the church at the time, half a million Catholics turned out for a mass held by Benedict in Fatima during his visit in May 2010.
Several television channels in the mainly Catholic nation televised Benedict’s last public speech as pope live on Wednesday.