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Portuguese soccer stadium to be renamed for visiting pontiff

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/05/2017
In this photo taken May 4 2017, a photo of Pope Francis, Francisco in Portuguese, is displayed on the window of a shop selling statues of Our Lady of Fatima in the village of Fatima, Portugal. Pope Francis is visiting the Fatima shrine on May 12 and 13 to canonize two Portuguese shepherd children who say they saw visions of the Virgin Mary 100-years ago. (AP Photo/Armando Franca) © The Associated Press In this photo taken May 4 2017, a photo of Pope Francis, Francisco in Portuguese, is displayed on the window of a shop selling statues of Our Lady of Fatima in the village of Fatima, Portugal. Pope Francis is visiting the Fatima shrine on May 12 and 13 to canonize two Portuguese shepherd children who say they saw visions of the Virgin Mary 100-years ago. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

LISBON, Portugal — Portuguese soccer club Fatima is renaming its stadium for Pope Francis, who is due to visit the famous shrine in the town next week.

Club director Father Antonio Pereira tells Portugal's Catholic radio station Renascenca that a plaque bearing the name "Estadio Papa Francisco" will be unveiled when the pontiff arrives May 12.

The arena, currently called Fatima Municipal Stadium, will act as the headquarters for the huge security operation mounted for the visit of less than 24 hours.

The day after the pope leaves, Fatima plays its last game of the season, when it has the chance of winning promotion to Portugal's second division.

Francis is visiting to canonize two Portuguese shepherd children who say they saw visions of the Virgin Mary 100 years ago.

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