100th anniversary year of the apparitions at Fatima

I’m sure you’ve heard me speak often about my visit to the shrine at the apparitions’ site of our lady of Fatima in   Portugal. One of the most profound and most widely witnessed miracles to take place in our modem era, is now being celebrated by the Catholic Church as we mark the 100th anniversary of its occurrence in 1917. Back on May 13, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said: “At the time [of the apparitions in 1917 it was only three children, yet the example of their  lives has spread and multiplied, especially as a result of the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin Statue, to countless groups, throughout the world, dedicated to the cause of fraternal   solidarity.”

On January 11th of this year, Pope Francis blessed six new replica statues of Our Lady of Fatima with the Intention that one of them would be brought to each of the continents. He intends this as an appeal to all nations to    adhere to Our Lady’s fervent plea at Fatima. Her pleas to the children were for all of us to pray a Rosary daily, pray for the Holy Father, for peace in the world and to pray in reparation for all the offenses, sacrileges, which have been directed at the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary’s Immaculate Heart. For only with our multitude of daily rosaries will world peace be obtained. In addition, Our Lady called for us to make and offer up sacrifices for the intention of poor sinners. None of these are back-breaking expectations, but in doing them, great graces and peace will envelop us.

The history of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue began in 1946. At that time, after the youth of Portugal attended a Congress in Fatima, they took the Statue from display in the Cova on pilgrimage to Lisbon. As they walked the route they stopped at the towns and people gathered to pray. In Lisbon when they entered the cathedral, the miracle   of doves occurred. Many other phenomena also occurred inspiring devotion and inspiring the fervor among the people.

The statue was returned to its place in the Cova de Iria, but many people wished for a visit to their own communities. The Bishop asked Sr. Lucia in a letter about sending the statue on tour. Sr. Lucia responded with a letter suggesting that the new statue, just then being made, by the famous sculptor Jose Thedim be used as a pilgrim statue.  The bishop agreed and, on May 13, 1947, this new statue was blessed and named the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The miracles, favors, and signal graces were so numerous from the very beginning that even the Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, reflected on them in his famous radio address to the pilgrims at Fatima, May 13, 1951. He recalled having crowned the Fatima statue in 1946:

 “In 1946 we crowned Our Lady of Fatima as Queen of the world, and the next year, through her pilgrim image,  She set forth to claim Her dominion, and the miracles She performs along the way are such that we can scarcely believe our eyes  at what we are seeing.

Now during the 100th anniversary year of the apparitions at Fatima, a Centennial Image of Our Lady of Fatima will be visiting our Parish from Monday, evening March 13th until Tuesday evening March 14th. This is one of the International Centennial Pilgrim Images of Our Lady of Fatima that was blessed by Pope Francis. The Schedule for the visit is being finalized by the coordinators of the Statues itinerary, the Alliance of the Holy Family International.

Plans, as of now, are for a Welcoming Procession to begin at 6:00 p.m. on Monday evening, followed by prayers and the evening Mass at 6:30 p.m… After Mass, there will be a candlelight procession and rosary, followed by a 12 hour Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and 1 1/2 hours of confessions. All-night Adoration will then continue in the main church, but please enter, during the night, through the chapel door, using the keypad for security. Please call the Parish Office to obtain the Keypad code.

Adoration will end at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, followed by Mass at 8:30 a.m. There will be Fatima talks by Father Bing ——- and myself during the day, along with continued Veneration of The Pilgrim Image of Our Lady. And ten at 5:30 p.m., there will be a closing Mass and procession.

A more detailed agenda will be provided soon.

Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.

Father Denis