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Further plea for missing Fatima pilgrim

The family of a south London man who disappeared while on pilgrimage to Fatima has sent out a further plea for anyone with any information that could lead to his whereabouts to come forward.

John Joyce, 72, has been missing for over six weeks after he disappeared in Fatima on Friday 14th July. As previously reported in The Universe, Mr Joyce was three days into a six-day pilgrimage when he walked with his pilgrimage group to a studio nearby to see a video about the Children of Fatima at 9.20am.

The film finished at 10.45am and one of the group spotted in him infront of the basilica about 10 minutes later. However, no-one has seen or heard from him since.

Mr Joyce had left his passport, money, mobile, reading glasses, hat and other belongings in his hotel, so was obviously not intending to go far before returning to the hotel for lunch at 1pm.

His family and friends are very, very worried and shocked at his disappearance.

“If he had collapsed, fallen or been taken ill in town he would have been seen and cared for as Fatima was full of pilgrims and visitors that day,” his sister Cathie Joyce told The Universe.

“If he had strolled out of town and been taken ill or fallen he would have been found by now.” The Fatima GNR have done extensive searching of roadsides and verges and nearby woods and found nothing. The family has now been forced to contemplate ‘darker’ scenarios.

“Was John either beguiled into accepting a car ride or taken by force to somewhere else?” said Ms Joyce. “Is he now being held against his will by a group or cult or for some other purpose, such as organ removal?”

Mr Joyce is unlikely to have been taken out of Portugal as he did not have his passport and the Joyce family are appealing to anyone going to Fatima to be on the lookout for him.

“He could be anywhere in Portugal. He may now have a beard and may have different clothes on,” explained Ms Joyce. “He may be very unkempt looking and dirty. He is missing his lower denture. He does speak some Portuguese – with an English accent and if he has lost his memory he may be living on the streets.

“Where ever he is, he is likely to be very lost looking and confused.”

The Joyce family is also appealing to anyone who was in Fatima on 14th July 2017 and was taking photos. They have asked people to check their photos to see whether they may have captured Mr Joyce’s image (wearing the blue check shirt and blue shorts as in the CCTV photos). If they can identify where and when the photo was taken can they immediately report it to the Fatima GNR.

The Joyce family has also expressed their deep gratitude to the local parish priests and congregations close to where Mr Joyce lives in south London, who have held several Masses for him, and to the many friends and family in the UK, Ireland, USA and Australia who have offered prayers and Masses for Mr Joyce and his family.

Local fellow members of the Legion of Mary have been also been very generous with their prayers and concern for Mr Joyce’s well-being.

The Hotel Essence Inn Marianos can be contacted on 00 351 249 531 572 (if English speaker).
The Fatima GNR (Police) can be contacted on 00 351 249 530 580 (if Portuguese speaker).

Picture: Left: John Joyce. Right: Hotel CCTV footage of Mr Joyce taken on 14th July, the day he went missing.

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