Today, October 13 is the 94th anniversary of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the children at Fatima. Since the monumental event, the Church has celebrated Mary’s providence and admonitions that direct the world to pray for peace and conversion of all peoples. Pope Pius XII, was frequently called, “the Pope of Fatima,” because of his particular devotion to Her. In fulfillment of Mary’s request, Pius XII consecrated the world to Mary, and in particular invoked her request for the conversion of Russia.

Pope Paul VI, renewed the consecration of the world to, “the heart of  Mary,” and made a pilgrimage to the site to pray and reaffirm the Church’s acknowledgement of Mary’s apparitions and messages for the conversion of all mankind.

Pope John-Paul II, victim of an attempted assassination after his extended period of recovery maintained it was the, “hand of Our Lady of Fatima,” that diverted the bullets and subsequently spared his life. In homage to Mary and her Divine intervention, Pope John-Paul II had one of the bullets extracted from his wounded body mounted into the crown adorning the statue of Our Lady of Fatima at the site of the apparitions in Portugal. John-Paul also declared two of the children Francisco and Jacinta both Blessed, the last stage before sainthood in the Catholic Church.
The last survivor of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima was Sister Lucia who recorded all of Mary’s requests and prophecies for posterity and future release according to the time frame the Virgin Mary had requested. The prophecies  and visions included a vision of hell, Mary’s instructions on how to save people from the flames of hell, and to pray for the world’s conversion to Christ in order to enjoy world peace and harmony. The third secret was withheld until 2000 and when finally disclosed revealed a scene of conflagration and destruction which included the slaughter of , ” a man dressed in white (presumed to be the Pope) and the slaughter of bishops, priests and faithful believers. When the secret was released, the Vatican maintained it referred to the attempt on John-Paul’s life.

However, when visiting Fatima and celebrating the appearance of the Virgin Mary and her prophetic words, Pope Benedict XVI maintained the third revealed secret also implied ” that the Church and the world are called to constant faith and conversion,” and the third secret was relevant for all times.

During his last visit to Fatima, Pope Benedict XVI presented a “golden rose” to the statue of the Virgin Mary to express the great devotion and esteem the Church holds for Our Lady of Fatima and her providential guidance over the whole world as a direct intermediary to Her Son, Jesus Christ.

Perhaps the best way we can recall and celebrate this appearance of God’s Divine Presence 94 years ago is in simply praying: Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed are Thee among all women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen,

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for the conversion of the world to belief in Christ and pray for all of us. Amen.

In conclusion, take some time today to pray the Rosary, for all of the People of God, past, present and future, especially the souls in purgatory that have no one to pray for them.

Hugh J.McNichol is a Catholic author and journalist that reflects on Catholic topics and issues. Hugh studied both philosophy and theology at Philadelphia’s Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary. He is currently in an advanced theology & history degrees program at Villanova University in suburban Philadelphia. He writes daily at http://verbumcarofactumest.blogspot.com , http://catholicsacredarts.blogspot.com . Hugh writes on his Irish Catholic parochial experiences at  http://graysferrygrapevine.blogspot.com.

He also contributes writings to The Irish Catholic, Dublin, British Broadcasting Company, and provides Catholic book reviews for multiple Catholic periodicals and publishers, including Vatican Publishing House.
Hugh lives in Delaware’s Brandywine Valley with his wife and daughter.
Hugh welcomes your comments via hjmn4@trinetconsultantsinc.com

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