Fatima and the Rosary

The month of October is called the Month of the Holy Rosary. On October 13, 1917, thousands of people saw the colorful miraculous display of the “falling” of the sun in Fatima, Portugal. The Blessed Mother had appeared to the three children, Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco, for several months previously, always encouraging them to pray the daily Rosary…

Fatima and Lourdes

Many Catholics know about Our Blessed Mother’s apparitions at both Fatima and Lourdes. Many also believe that the message of Our Lady of Fatima is of vital importance to the world today, almost 100 years after she came to the little mountain village in Portugal. There is a similarity in the two appearances in that the Mother of God called for penance and reparation in both Fatima, Portugal and in Lourdes, France.

Our Lady of Fatima

We Catholics think of May as Mary’s month, the month we decorate our May altars and rededicate ourselves to saying the daily Rosary. For many of us, May is the month we recall the wonderful apparitions of the Blessed Mother to the three children, Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco, in the year 1917 in Fatima, a village north of Lisbon, Portugal. The most fantastic miracle was the “dancing” of the sun, seen by thousands of people. There were three other visions in the sky at the sixth apparition which many saw, and there were many cures and healings.

Pope Benedict XVI at Fatima

In the solemn celebration of Pentecost we are invited to profess our faith in the presence and in the action of the Holy Spirit and to invoke his outpouring upon us, upon the Church and upon the whole world. With special intensity, let us make our own the Church’s invocation: Veni, Sancte Spiritus! It is such a simple and spontaneous invocation, yet also extraordinarily profound, which came first of all from the heart of Christ. The Spirit is indeed the gift that Jesus asked and continues to ask of his Father for his friends; the first and principal gift that he obtained for us through his Resurrection and Ascension into heaven.

Pope Benedict XVI at Fatima

We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete. Here there takes on new life the plan of God which asks humanity from the beginning: “Where is your brother Abel […] Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!” (Gen 4:9). Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end… In sacred Scripture we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of man and he does the same here, in Fatima, when Our Lady asks: “Do you want to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings which he will send you, in an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?” (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 162).

Our Lady of Fatima

The month of October is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. It was on October 13 that the Blessed Mother appeared for the sixth time to the three children of Fatima: Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco.

Our Lady of Fatima

We never tire of reflecting on the wonderful apparition of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal! She came and gave the world a spectacular apparition: the dance of the sun. As wonderful and as miraculous as are all of her apparitions, none can compare with this heavenly multi-colored manifestation in the sky!