Centenary of Fatima Apparitions
On Saturday we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. It is also the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of our Blessed Mother at Fatima on 13th May 1917.
On that day, Our Blessed Mother appeared to three shepherd children, Lúcia Santos and Jacinta and Francisco Marto, for the first time, having witnessed apparitions of an angel some months before. The town of Fatima had remained faithful to the Holy Catholic Church at a time of persecution by the Portuguese Government. The children reported seeing "a woman brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal goblet filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun."
Our Blessed Mother appeared a total of six times to the children in 1917 and once more to Lucia in 1920. She told the children that she had been sent by God with a message for all mankind. At a time when the world was engulfed in the Great War, the Blessed Virgin promised that Heaven would grant the world peace and many souls would go to heaven if her requests for prayers, reparation and consecration were obeyed.
At Fatima in 1982, Pope St. John Paul II said:
“Our Lady's message at Fatima remains ever relevant. It is still more relevant than it was 65 years ago. It is still more urgent.”
This remains even more true today. The message of Fatima are an urgent appeal by our Heavenly Mother who sees the great dangers that the world at its people are falling in to and that the Rosary remains a potent weapon in the fight against these evils.
On this 100th anniversary of 13th May 1917, the first apparition at Fatima, we will celebrate this notable event at Holy Mass at 10.00am and by saying the Rosary and reciting the Litany in honour of Our Blessed Mother.
To allow the Church to celebrate the message of Our Lady of Fatima and to renew the commitment of all God’s faithful people to the devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary, His Holiness Pope Francis has decided to grant a special plenary indulgence opportunity throughout the entire anniversary year.
To obtain the plenary indulgence, the ordinary conditions are required: to go to Confession and Communion, to be interiorly detached from sin and to pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.
In addition, those who wish the indulgence can:
(a) make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Fatima, or
(b) visit and Pray before a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, especially on the 13th of each month between May to October (the period of the apparitions), making reparations for the sins of the world.
The sick and the housebound can also gain an indulgence under the usual conditions by praying in front of a statue or image of Our Lady of Fatima and spiritually uniting themselves to the jubilee celebrations on the days of the apparitions, the 13th of each month, between May and October 2017.