Our Lady of Fatima Rosary

Our Lady of Fatima Rosary – May 13

On 13 May 1917, ten year old Lúcia Santos and her younger cousins, siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto, were tending sheep at a location known as the Cova da Iria near their home village of Fátima in Portugal.  Lúcia described seeing a vision of a woman “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.” Thousands of people flocked to Fátima and Aljustrel in the ensuing months, drawn by reports of visions and miracles.

As early as July 1917 it was claimed that the Virgin Mary had promised a miracle for the last of her apparitions on 13 October, so that all would believe. What transpired became known as “Miracle of the Sun.” A crowd believed to be approximately 70,000 in number, including newspaper reporters and photographers, gathered at the Cova da Iria. Lúcia called out to the crowd to look at the sun, and the sun appeared to change colors and to rotate like a fire wheel appearing to fall from the sky before retreating.
The phenomenon was witnessed by the crowd, and it was reported by Portugal’s most influential secular newspaper: “Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws – the sun ‘danced’ according to the typical expression of the people.”
As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican’s top doctrinal official, the Holy Father played a central role when the Vatican published the so-called third secret of Fatima; Cardinal Ratzinger said the secret, written down by Sister Lucia after Mary’s appearances, made sense as a symbolic prophecy of the church’s 20th-century struggles against evil political systems.
The future pope at that time described such apparitions as “interior visions” that were not mere fantasy and that reflected Mary’s continuing role in the church: that of intervening in support of the saving mission of her son. These are typically fleeting appearances to humble people, he said, and they rely on powerful symbolic images and language rather than “lengthy speeches.”

On this May 13, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, the pope will celebrate Mass outside the shrine and afterward go inside to visit the tombs of the three shepherd visionaries. His visit marks the 10th anniversary of the beatification of two of the seers, Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta Marto.

Please remember to pray a Rosary on Thursday, May 13 for the intentions of the Holy Father.