On the 12th of May, the Parish was honoured to welcome the centennial image of our Lady of Fatima to visit us. It was a great occasion and a day of many spiritual fruits for the Parish. I was very pleased to see many people in the morning Mass and also all throughout the day, people coming from many places to visit the image and also to spend some time in adoration to the Blessed Sacrament. Catholics of all ages came to receive the scapular and medals as a sign of the commitment to God and Our Blessed Mother to live a life according to the teachings of Jesus.
To celebrate this happy occasion, in the next following weeks I will present to you the story of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. Hopefully we all feel renewed by her message and keep committing ourselves to the cause of peace and also to place ourselves under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Our Blessed Mother appeared to three simple shepherd children six times in 1917 so they could warn the world of upcoming trials and tribulations.? The three children were, siblings Jacinta, age 7, and Francisco Marto, age 9,?and their cousin Lucia Dos Santos, age 10.?
It began in a small village of Portugal called Fatima. On a sunny day in the year 1915, Lucia Dos Santos was playing with three other girls when they took a break to sit down for lunch. After lunch, as was their custom, they prayed the rosary. While praying, they noticed a bright white cloud in the sky that had taken on a human form. The vision appeared to them three times. All four girls were filled with wonder. Lucia would later describe, “Like a cloud, whiter than snow, slightly transparent, with a human outline.”
A year later, Lucia was out tending her father’s sheep and was in the company of her cousins Jacinta and Francisco. After having lunch and praying the rosary, they proceeded to play jacks in a cave when a brilliant Angel appeared to them and said, “Fear not! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me!”
The Angel knelt on the ground and bowed very low. The children imitated him and repeated his words, “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You. I beg pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love you.”? The Angel repeated this prayer three times, then arose and said before he disappeared, “Pray this way. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.”?
The Angel appeared again to them the following summer and said, “What are you doing? Pray! Pray a great deal! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy for you! Offer unceasingly to the Most High prayers and sacrifices!”
Lucia asked him, “But how are we to sacrifice ourselves?”
The Angel replied, “Offer up everything within your power as a sacrifice to the Lord in an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended; and of supplication for the conversion of sinners. Thus invoke peace upon your country. I am her Guardian Angel; the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with submission the sufferings that the Lord may send you.”
To be continued next week...