Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

May 10, 2017

100th Anniversary of Our Lady's Apparitions at Fatima

Will you offer yourselves to God, and bear all the sufferings He sends you? In atonement for all the sins that offend Him? And for the conversion of sinners?

"Oh, we will, we will!"

Then you will have a great deal to suffer, but the grace of God will be with you and will strengthen you.

Lucia relates that as the Lady pronounced these words, she opened her hands, and

we were bathed in a heavenly light that appeared to come directly from her hands. The light's reality cut into our hearts and our souls, and we knew somehow that this light was God, and we could see ourselves embraced in it. By an interior impulse of grace we fell to our knees, repeating in our hearts: "Oh, Holy Trinity, we adore You. My God, my God, I love You in the Blessed Sacrament."

The children remained kneeling in the flood of this wondrous light, until the Lady spoke again, mentioning the war in Europe, of which they had little or no knowledge.

Say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war.

After that she began to rise slowly in the direction of the east, until she disappeared in the immense distance. The light that encircles Her seemed to make a way amidst the stars, and that is why we sometimes said we had seen the heavens open.

This conversation between the Blessed Virgin Mary and three children--Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco--took place one hundred years ago, May 13, 1917. This Saturday's anniversary of the first of Mary's six apparitions to the children on the thirteenth of each month from May until October 13 are worthy of study and prayer. Pope Francis will make a pilgrimage to the Fatima site this weekend and will canonize sister and brother, Jacinta and Francisco, who were ages seven and nine at the time of the apparitions.

Take some time to explore with your students the remarkable history and message of Our Lady of Fatima that is offered in great detail at a website prepared by EWTN.

Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima

O Most holy Virgin Mary,

Queen of the most holy Rosary,

you were pleased to appear to the children of Fatima

and reveal a glorious message.

We implore you,

inspire in our hearts a fervent love

for the recitation of the Rosary.

By meditating on the mysteries of the redemption

that are recalled therein

may we obtain the graces and virtues that we ask,

through the merits of Jesus Christ,

our Lord and Redeemer.

Amen. 

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