Thursday, May 13, 2010
Our Lady of Fatima
Last year, my mother, my two oldest daughters and I made a pilgrimage to Fatima. We traveled by car through the valleys and over the hills to get to the small village. As with other apparition sites, the area was surrounded by shops carrying souvenirs of everything from plates to nitelites to aprons and candles and mugs etc etc embossed with Our Lady of Fatima. The area where Mary appeared to the three Portuguese children, Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia, was "marked off" along with the Basilica of the Rosary, a small outdoor Chapel of the Apparitions and the new Church of the Holy Trinity. Inside this huge concrete area, there was peace. As people crawled on their knees around the statue of Our Lady inside the Chapel, praying the rosary, there was peace. As visitors toured the Basilica and gathered around the areas where the children were buried, there was peace. As pilgrims joined for Mass in the more modern Church of the Holy Trinity, there was peace. As I wondered down to the area for confession, there were huge waves of peace and consolation. Lighting candles for our intentions and washing in the waters around the statue of the Sacred Heart, there was peace.
Today, I envision the huge crowds gathered around this holy place. I walk with the many pilgrims who have journeyed on foot fulfilling promises to Our Lady in exchange for her blessings. I hear the rosary being prayed in many different languages. I see the reverence and the respect given in an area where once Our Lady appeared and asked three small children to spread the message for need of prayer and fasting and repentance for world peace and to reveal the three secrets that she made known to them. Today, I sit in peace knowing that Our Lady holds us in her mantle. Today, I see her smiling down on all who have listened to and followed her messages given at Fatima.
“Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions and signs which go to the heart of human events and which, to the surprise of believers and non-believers alike, play their part in the unfolding of history. These manifestations can never contradict the content of faith, and must therefore have their focus in the core of Christ's proclamation: the Father's love which leads men and women to conversion and bestows the grace required to abandon oneself to him with filial devotion. This too is the message of Fatima which, with its urgent call to conversion and penance, draws us to the heart of the Gospel” (The Message of Fatima, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 26, 2000).
Posted by Julie Cragon at 5:42 AM