May 29, 2009

Our Lady of Fátima



We would be remiss if we did not dedicate a post in this month of Mary to discussing the events at Fátima which commenced on May 13, 1917.

Our Lady of Fátima is the title given to the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three shepherd children at Fátima, Portugal on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on 13 May. The three children were Lúcia Santos and her cousins, siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto. The title Our Lady of the Rosary is also sometimes used to referr to the same apparition (although it was first used in 1208 for the reported apparition in the church of Prouille), because the children related that the apparition specifically identified herself as "the Lady of the Rosary."

Lúcia described seeing the lady as "brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal ball filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun." According to Lúcia's account, the lady confided to the children three secrets, known as the Three Secrets of Fátima. She exhorted the children to do penance and to make sacrifices to save sinners. The children wore tight cords around their waists to cause pain, abstained from drinking water on hot days, and performed other works of penance. Most important, Lúcia said that the lady asked them to say the Rosary every day, reiterating many times that the Rosary was the key to personal and world peace. Many young Portuguese men, including relatives of the visionaries, were then fighting in World War I.

Pope John Paul II credited Our Lady of Fátima with saving his life following the assassina- tion attempt on the Feast of Our Lady of Fátima, in 1981. He followed the footsteps of Paul VI, on 12 May 1987, to express his gratitude to the Virgin for saving his life. The following day, he renewed the consecration of Pius XII to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

More on our Lady of Fatima in future posts.

Source Wikipedia

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