Saturday, January 7, 2017

Entering 100 Years of Fatima

It was the year 1917. World War One raged elsewhere in Europe, but for three young children of Portugal, life consisted mainly of watching their family's sheep. The oldest was named Lucia Santos; she was ten.  The other two were her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto; they were nine and seven.

Los niños de Fátima: Jacinta, Francisco y Lucía Quiénes tuvieron la visión de Fátima de 1917, en Portugal.:


From May through October of 1917, these children caused quite a stir in their hometown of Fatima and the surrounding lands. They reported that they had been visited by "a lady from Heaven," a beautiful lady who first came to them on May 13, while they were watching their sheep. She had asked them to pray the rosary, pray and make sacrifices, and to come to the Cova where they had seen her on the thirteenth of each month. The children had wanted to keep these visits a secret, but little Jacinta let the story slip, and it was impossible to keep the news from spreading. 

Some believed the children were telling the truth, that they really were favored with visions from Heaven. Some accused them of lying. Others believed what they saw was a deception of the devil. 

Despite the doubt and criticism of others, the three children kept their promise to the lady and came to the Cova on the thirteenth of every month -- except for once, when anti-Catholic authorities captured and detained them, and then the lady came on a different day. Large crowds of people began to follow the children to the Cova. They could not see what the children claimed to see, but they could see the children kneeling and gazing at their apparition and watch Lucia's lips move as she conversed with the mysterious visitor.

The 3 children of Fatima  Francisco, Lucia and little Jacinta:

The lady, Lucia said, never wavered from her message: pray the rosary and make sacrifices in reparation for the many sins committed against God. She also gave the children three "secrets," which they refused to share with anyone.  

And she promised to give the world a miracle on October Thirteenth -- a miracle that would show everyone the children were telling the truth. 

On October Thirteenth, the crowd that followed the children to the Cova was larger than ever before, despite the fact that it had rained the night before and everything was sopping wet. 

Jacinta - one of the Fatima seers.:

At this final apparition, Lucia said, the "lady from heaven" revealed her true identity as that of Mary, the Mother of God.

Then the lady gave the world her miracle: the Miracle of the Sun.

Before the eyes of the amazed crowd, the noon sun became a pale silver disc that could be looked at without hurting the eyes. Then it began to spin and dance and shoot forth colors. 

Eyewitness accounts of the phenomenon can be read here

Miracle of the sun October 13 1917, Fatima, Portugal.:

In the years since that day, many have come to believe in the apparitions at Fatima. The Cova where the visions took place has become a great pilgrimage site. The messages which Our Lady gave to Lucia, along with the three secrets which were eventually revealed, have been taken to heart by many. 

What was this message? Who was it for? Why did God give it to the world at this time and in this way? Who were these little children deemed worthy to carry the message?

As we enter 2017, the year that will see the centennial of the Fatima apparitions, we may well ponder these questions and many others. And so, this year on this blog, Saturday is Fatima Day. Please join me each week, especially on the First Saturday of each month, in exploring different aspects of Fatima -- the children, the lady, and, the message from God.

4 comments:

  1. Cool! I love this! And what a beautiful way of telling the beautiful story, Lucy! :)

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    1. Oh, good! Ha -- you liked it? I was feeling guilty for throwing it together so quickly and haphazardly. But thanks. :)

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  2. How many posts do you plan on doing on this topic? Already I have questions, but I'd like to save them for until I have read the whole series.

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    1. I plan on making this a regular feature of the blog -- kind of like Catholicism Explained (in fact, I shouldn't be surprised if it kind of pushes CE out of the picture). My hope is to put up a little Fatima post every Saturday (though every Saturday is probably unrealistic), definitely every First Saturday (as there's a First Saturday devotion connected to Fatima). If you have questions, I'll be happy to do my best to answer them, so ask away! :)

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